A couple of nights ago I watched The Real Hustle: Celebrity Scammers on BBC. It’s on again tonight on BBC 3 at 7pm.
In it a punter is taken for £1,900 in a sham auction con. The ‘mark’ overhears someone in a bar receiving a phone call to say that a certain picture in a nearby junk shop is worth £2000 and is on sale for £50. While that person nips to the toilet, the marks goes to the shop and buys the picture. They are met outside by the person who was on the phone who tells them that the picture is worth £2k and that while he would not be making any money (Oh Yeah!) he has a friend with an auctionrooms around the corner who could slip it in to the auction which was about to start (as if!!). There are about 20 customers at the auction. The first conman tells the marks that they might have to bid the picture up a bit. They are bidding against a phone bidder who they already are told will go to £3k. The mark is at £1900 when the phone ‘breaks down’ and the picture is knocked down to the mark. The con men then organise a deal with the phone bidder and pay the mark with a check, but he has first of all to pay the £1900 for the picture, which he does in cash. He still thinks that he has made a big profit, except, of course that the cheque is a dud.
My complaint is that the program itself is a con. Think about it:
3 principal con artists.
About 20 bit players.
Hire of an ‘auctionrooms’
Plus the signs, props etc
ALL FOR A TAKE OF £1,900!!!
On another matter: I watched the One Show, also on BBC during the week. On it the presenter was speaking about the 1933 1d. She stated that the coin was worth about £65,000 – probably correct. However, she was handling the coin, not very professionally, with her bare hands. If I had a £65k coin I would not let someone like that handle it without gloves. My guess is that the coin was a replica.