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This is a question Conned

swiftyisNOTevil writes, "I have recently become obsessed with the BBC Three show 'The Real Hustle' - personally, I think of it as a 'How To' show for aspiring con artists."

Have you carried out a successful con? Perhaps you hustled a few quid off a stranger, or defrauded a multi-national company. Or have you been taken for the wide-eyed, naive rube that you are?

(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 13:02)
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This question is now closed.

B3ta Facebook the internet made me believe I was part of a gobal community and had hundreds of friends who wanted to know about my life.

I hadn't even got one.

(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:25, 1 reply)
Glastonbury tickets
Growing up in Wiltshire in the 90's wasn't all that great. Clubbing was restricted to the larger cities and generally there was fuck all to do. Except in the summer when every year without fail, we went to Glastonbury.

Going on a regular basis meant we knew our way around the local area, particularly the nearby fields. As the festival got increasingly popular it became more and more difficult to source tickets and one year (1999) we didn't get them.


About three hours into day one of the festival I get a call from my mate Rich who tells me to get my arse down to Glastonbury because he has got himself a load of tickets. Slightly wary of how he got them or if they were fakes I turned up, got in and had a great day; Rich remaining tight lipped as to how he managed to get the tickets.

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I'm queuing for the toilet when I start to overhear a conversation in front of me. A couple were talking about a scam that someone was running where tickets had been stolen. Much discussion later and I find out exactly how Rich and accomplice got the tickets.

What they had done was to open the gate of a nearby field and print and put up a large sign stating 'Glastonbury Festival Parking'. Armed with more official looking arrow signs, tape, ropes and tables, together with a convincing marshal's outfit, they had set themselves up a fake entrance to the festival and after people had parked, they were exchanging people's tickets for worthless 'entry passes' and sending them off through another gate to get thoroughly lost in the Somerset countryside.

Rich denied all but he knew that countryside better than anyone I know and given that he is now serving a prison sentence for fraud I am more certain than ever it was him. Needless to say I did feel more than a little guilty at being in on a stolen ticket but it was a great festival.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:22, Reply)
Getting your own back
I will admit to have being royally conned by a thieving git who I thought I could trust.

Several years on, and having let go of the fact that I will never see my money again, I am - frankly - amazed how many times one man will fall for the old 'Dog Shit Under The Car Door Handle' gag.

If it wasn't for the CCTV cameras all over the place, I dare say he'd still be falling for it today.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:22, Reply)
The Real Hustle is definately bollocks
...ie what about the one with the car where they rent a car, take the stickers off and offer it for sale at a knock down price? There is a woman indoors who claims its her husbands car and blah blah getting people to leave a deposit on the car. Later all the depositers turn up and there is no car and nobody home. Now that is a great con...

...but first you have to steal a fucking house. They never explained that part.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:12, 4 replies)
ebay & paypal
Need I say more?

Ok then!
I've been done when stuff hasn't shown up that I've bought but paypal/ebay fail to intervene or recover money.

I've been done when I've sold stuff and then paypal have taken back money as they person used a dodgy card for payment.

I've been done when i've sold stuff and it got returned only to find they'd gone to the effort of dismantling a mobile phone and substituting a faulty circuit board (the IMEI sticker was right but didn't match the phone board).

And the biggest insult of all.... Having sold something on ebay and it's gone for a low price, you then get F*cked for ebay listing fees, ebay selling fees and the final nail in the coffin they then pay with paypal and ebay get paid AGAIN!

(Yeah I know I don't have to accept paypal OR sell on ebay, but it's the best place to sell most crap and people don't want to do bank/cheque payment anymore).
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:11, 2 replies)
Double duped
It's a "Friend of mine" story but at least it's true (I hope)

Once, way back as an innocent teenager a friend of mine and some of his school mates (we went to different schools) were out and about in the dodgey areas looking to score some weed. But they had a scret plan. One of them was sent to find a dealer. He did and they started the "transaction". At htis point the rest of his mates ran up and half inched the dope out of the dealers hand and ran off with it. The dealer followed. My mate ran off the other way still with the money.

Yay! they thought. We've just got some free gear. THey go home and attempt to smoke it. It tasted minty and they didn;t get stoned but the cat went a bit mental for it.

Yup they conned a drug dealer out of a pack of Catmint.

Length? Not far, the dealer couldn;t be arsed to chase after some worthless herbs.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:08, Reply)
Conning low life rat bag.

Longish one from the late 80’s..

I was 20, stranded in Port Authority* bus station in New York, on my own, with so much luggage I couldn’t hold it all at once.. at 2:30am, tired and hung over.

Stranded, because I’d turned up with a valid pre-paid ticket for a bus to Connecticut - but with a timetable two years out of date.
(Great travel advice from the university)

The ticket office was open, but just said “Tough, only option is to wait until a coach goes tomorrow”.

So I sat there, trying to work out what to do next, feeling about as vulnerable as you can, surrounded by the sort of people that hang around in Port Authority at 2:30am.
Next bit of joy: a huge, massive, enormous, guy walked up to me - even though I used to work out several times a week, he was two of me. If I gave it my best shot, I reckoned I wouldn’t have even slowed him down. Hell, he probably wouldn’t have even noticed.
No police around – I found out later they will only patrol PA in pairs or more.

He asked me why I was there, I explained the story.
He said “Give me $20 and your bus ticket, and I’ll get it exchanged.”
Although that was all the cash I had, and I knew I wouldn’t be seeing them again, I handed it over.
In all honesty, I was just pleased to have the chance to remain in one piece, keeping my credit cards and passport was a plus.

5 minutes later he came back, with tickets from an alternative bus company, and more cash than he’d started with (turned out to be a cheaper ticket!).
AND a guy on an electric trolley for my luggage.
He then explained that he had “a bit of a problem with the police, so couldn’t get me to the gate, buy his mate would give me a lift”.
I gave him the $20, which he hadn't asked for.
His mate gave me the lift right across PA, which is vast, and saw me onto the coach.

All these years I’ve dined out on this, and I’ve finally found the con. I haven’t got a proper answer to this QOTW. Thieving git.

*For those fortunate enough not to have heard of Port Authority - really not the place to be: www.aic.gov.au/publications/rpp/31/RPP31-10.pdf
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:04, 2 replies)
Personal Favourite
Heads I win
Tails you lose

Works every time
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:04, 1 reply)
The FAKE Hustle?
You know that "The Real Hustle" swear that all the scams are genuine and that all the victims are innocent members of the public, well...

An long time ex of mine is a sometime actress/model/extra (strictly above board) - has been since she was 4 and appeared on the original connect 4 box, other parts include girl running in corridor in Grange Hill and many others, anyway you can imagine my surprise when she (and friend) appear on the abovementioned programme being duped into giving a deposit for a flat to someone who was not the landlord - the classic "Fake Landlord Heist". Well through the magic of faceboothe internet we became friends reunited and I was able to question her on this - her response "bollox were we scammed - I got paid!" - well she may have been embarrassed to admit being fooled, or the viewers are the real dupes!

An aside to this - another of my friends was caught by this very scam (a fake letting agent) and moved into an apartment (well flat) and having lived there for a few weeks she was surprised to find the owners turning up and demanding rent. It could have been a problem situation but my quick thinking friend told the real owner that she had paid rent up front for three months and wasn't leaving. Desparate to keep the place occupied the owner agreed.

I can't help feeling sorry for the buy to let suckers - apparently the same thing happened with the other three flats they owned in the building, and property prices now seem to be heading in the wrong direction - Scammed by the banks, the builders, the agents and the tenants - no wonder no one wants to burst their bubble.

That RH blonde would be worth losing some money for tho!

Length: probably only about 6 months if you get caught!
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 16:03, Reply)
The bastards!!
I was around 17. I had been out drinking ALOT that night.
I got home, and decided i needed to pleasure myself.
I cant really remember, but it must have been about 3am.
So anyways, i flicked on the TV, and saw a program that sounded filth, i flicked to it to see 4 old bints talking shit.

Loose Women is not what the name suggests.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:59, Reply)
At primary school, whenever it was your birthday, you could go to the front at assembly and have a sweet or sometimes, some cake, but always get 'happy Birthday' sung to you by the whole school.

I spotted a flaw early on - they relied on you telling the truth when they asked everyone.

One year, i went up twice, got 2 sweets, and sung to twice. Although one of the teachers twigged I think.

To be honest, variations on this event have been a regular occurance for the 30 or so years since this happened.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:59, Reply)
Used Motors
For a short while back in the 1990s during a slight drought in my career, I took a job as a used car salesman for one of those lots with bunting hanging up around the place, and which are usually located in the less salubrious parts of town.

Some of the less than honest activities I was forced to pull on unsuspecting punters were:

1. Clocked a 1989 BMW 3 series from 145000 to 38000. FFS, the drivers seat sagged so low you had to be 8'6" to see above the wheel. And the handbrake and gearknob were so well polished with use they were practically frictionless.

2. Filled the gearbox of an Austin Montego Turbo with sand to disguise the fact that it crashed noisily whenever changing gear. A week after the sale, an annoyed motorist arrived the lot complaining that half the sahara desert had been deposited on his garage floor.

3. An Astra GTE which suffered from a very loud, and rough engine was proving a problem to shift.. My boss decided we should only demonstrate this vehicle to punters with the stereo turned up to top volume.
It made it very tough as you drove along the local roads, bellowing at the pitch of your lungs to be heard over the pedestrian sounds of Steve Wright in the Afternoon, telling the customer how the car ACCELLERATES VERY SMOOTHLY!!! S-M-O-O-T-H-L-Y!!!!
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:55, Reply)
ahh conned
when on holiday in turkey we went to marmaris market where all the sweaty turks try and sell you shite for a ludicris amount of money. anyway whilst there i took a shine to a football shirt i saw there i asked the fella how much n he said 50 lira thats bout £20, always rememberin to haggle i got him down to 30 lira i thought yay success.

a couple of days later walking down the main strip in marmaris i saw the sweaty turk in question stood there sellin these fookin shirts 3 for £10 ( 25 lira )

i was gutted never trusted a turk since
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:50, Reply)
Ok lets say you have a prepay mobile phone from, ooh i dunno, lets say an operator called "yellow".
You can also get a prepay top up card that you can use at most point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the UK. You pay, they swipe your card, the phone is topped up, everyones happy.

Now, use all your credit up. It must be ZERO.

Lets imagine a supermarket called "Alfresco". You could gather some produce from the shelves - a few cheap items, and join a queue for the tills. As they scan each item, half way through, ask them to top up your phone - £50 will do, and hand over your prepay top up card. The scanning recommences. Your topup goes through. Take your phone out and dial a number, make sure it connects, burn up a few pence of credit.

When you are told the amount for your sale, make sure you have mysteriously forgotten your wallet, say you have enough for the scanned produce, apologise and ask them to refund the top up. The top up you havent yet paid for, but crucially - have used partially. They will do this - its called a 'reverse' in the world of POS. There will be an error on the system but it will not be processed properly by the Alfresco 'front-end' till which will happily carry on, having removed the £50 top up from the sale. The backend system will flag an error in a log file somewhere and move on. The cashier will see nothing, the till will work as it always does, its not really a till anyway.

You pay for your goods, and leave. You notice that mysteriously your phone seems to have about £49.85 worth of credit on it. Funny that.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:49, 1 reply)
Stupid Tesco Staff.
Back when I was 17 some mates and I (they too were 17) went down to the tesco in Hemel Hempstead to procure a 24 pack of Carling Lager. It was about 10pm on a friday night so they had eyes for us. Before we even got to the till with the prize we were intercepted by a rather bitchy looking lady, clearly enjoying her role as a "Customer Service Supervisor" read "Till slave driver." Anyway she demanded that we ALL had to have ID to make the purchase so myself and my 2 friends all pull out our recently aquired driving licenses, and if you do the math each one says we are 17 - now perhaps it was the confidence with which we showed them or more likely the bitch couldnt add up, but she looked intently at each and then let us make the purchase! Happy times.

Incidentaly I worked at Tesco in stevenage as a 16/17 year old and you know how you see the young uns raise their hand to get authorisation for a sale? Well I never bothered and just sold alchohol as I pleased at 17. Corporate sabotage eh.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:49, Reply)
Godlike Status?
So you want to know what it's like to be me?

You poor, deluded fuckers.

You wouldn't want to be me. Honestly. I've had some good times, fuck, some GREAT times. But you still wouldn't want to be like me.

You want to know why? Because I also have a dark side. I call it (nods to Churchill..) My Black Dog.

Yes, my friends, I suffer from depression.

I've been in loony-bins. I've been in places where Dante would throw up before he described them. I've been so fucked up I really don't know how I made it through. But I did.

I've been rich (almost a million quid in the bank), I've been poor (living on noodles and sweetcorn after having aforesaid cash in the bank.)

I left almost the biggest house in the village I lived in and moved into a rented flat carrying my life in two bin-bags. I looked at them, the only things I owned at that point, and thought:

"Is that it? Is this my life? 2 fucking bin bags?"

This was 4 years ago.

I've been so ill (depression) that I was pretty much paralysed. It's hit me several times over the years that, now, I count every day without it as a gift.

So, when I write, I try to tell the funny shit that's happened to me. Hell, it's happened to everyone. The amusing, the interesting the good the bad and the ugly. For me it's catharsis. A defence against The Black Dog.

But I can't help but like my brothers tag for Psychiatric Hospitals.

"Napoleon Factories"

So, me "godlike status..." Do me a fucking favour...

So if anyone on B3ta thought I had a great life... You've been well and truly conned.


P.S . I haven't went Tonto for a few years. Mainly down to finding a drug that works for me and, the love of a good woman.

P.S. - You want to hear some tales from a loony-bin? They'll fry your soul.. Or make you cry.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:48, 12 replies)
Civil Engineers get paid a lot....
I was repeatedly told at school, through my year out, and during my degree.

fucking liars

I got them back though. I smoked copious amounts of draw all through uni, only stopping for 2 months at the end. Got a 2:1 and am a Master of Engineering.

Up yours establishment!

also, playing the guitar will help you score chicks. that never fucking happened either
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:47, 6 replies)
Younger brother
I have a younger brother, so it was my duty as the older sibling to look after him. When we were little, I generously bestowed him with many favours, which have included the following:

* Offering to swap my tiny shoebox bedroom for his much larger bedroom so he could be nearer the top of the staircase, and therefore run away from encroaching burglars quicker. He accepted

* Swapping bags of sweets and chocolate with him, only to later sneak into his room and eat them anyway

* Shouting "ow, ow he's punching me" just to be a spiteful shit so my parents would send him to his room...

and my personal favourite...

* Every week swapping his £1 pocket money for a couple of 10p and 5p coins, because "he preferred the silver ones"

The list goes on and on. It's what younger brothers are there for!
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:47, 3 replies)
Radio DJ
When I was about 10 I answered the phone to someone saying he was calling from the radio, and was my sister there.

She wasn't but he asked if I could answer a few questions instead. "You're on the radio!!" he said.

Me, on the radio!!! The questions he asked included:

Have you got a girlfriend?
Has she got big tits?
What kind of things does she wear?
What do you like to do to her?
Do you ever play with yourself?
What would you think about if you did?

This went on for a while until he eventually made a strange noise and said "thanks for your time, you're a good boy".

I then actually asked weakly if he would "play a request", but unfortunately he seemed to have hung up.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:36, 4 replies)
"There's a shortage of scientists" spouted the government and my teachers back in 1995, "We need more science graduates" I was constantly told. So I worked hard at my A-Levels (even though I just wanted to get a job) and went to uni to do Biology & Biochemistry.

Now lets get one thing straight, I did not cock around at university, my week days were full of lectures and lab work, I always had work to do and I can count the number of lectures I missed in 3 years on one hand. During the holidays I did not swan off on booze-filled shag-fests because I worked as a lab monkey for the PhD students.

Could I get a job after graduation? Could I fuck. Within a year my aspirations fell as the job rejection letters increased. It also turns out that scientists, when they can get work, get paid fuck all. I was applying for cancer research posts starting at £9k a year, even back in 1998 that was low.

The final straw came when I was being interviewd for a part time lab assistant job at a local research station. Even though the job was just a glorified cleaner, I was up against a woman with a PhD in Microbiology. She told me that she was currently working part time at the science museum as she couldn't get a job as a proper scientist. I went home and took my degree off my CV and got a job at NatWest.

So that is how I was conned into spending thousands of pounds and years of my life on a piece of paper that is worthless. I believed the lie about science graduates being able to pick and choose their jobs and paid for it with interest.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:29, 2 replies)
The Phone Call...
At about 9:15 in the morning, an attractive woman in a smart business suit knocks on the door...

She looks a little distressed and embarrassed...but fit nonetheless

"I'm so sorry", she coos "but my car has just broken down around the corner. Bloody BMWs eh? Anyway, I'm now late for my meeting and my mobile battery is flat. I'm having such a bad day and really sorry to trouble you but would you mind if I used your phone for a second to call the office? I’ll pay for the call.”

*flutters eyelashes*

Your answer: “Why, of course, you fair damsel in distress. The phone’s over there”

Woman: “Oh, you’re really kind. I’m sooo grateful. I won’t be long” she gushes

(You start fantasising exactly how ‘grateful’ this woman is going to be…)

The phonecall: “Hello, It’s Penelope here, I need to speak to Pete….What? I don’t care if he’s in a meeting, get him out of it. NOW!”

“I’m so sorry” she says again…

“Oh that’s fine” you say.

A minute or so ticks by….

Her: “What do you mean, you can’t find him…hold on, is Rich there? Get him instead.”

…5 people and 15 apologies later...

Her “ Hi….Robert…at last!, It’s Penelope here. Look, I’m stuck here at _____ Road and my car has broken down. I need someone to pick me up and I need somebody else to make sure the Japanese Portfolio is presented before 10:00am or we’ll all be for it. Where is _____ Road? Well, you take the first junction off the motorway and……..

…Cue 2 minutes of directions…

*you check out her arse*

…and I’ll be waiting by my car. See you soon, Bye”

*hangs up*

Her: “Oh you have saved my life! – Please, let me give you this, it’s the least I can do”

*hands over a £1 coin*

You: “No that’s alright love, don’t worry about it”

*you flash a wink and a smile*

Her: “Oh you are sooo kind. If there’s ever anything I can do for you…Anyway, I’d better be getting back to my car. Thank you again for your kindness. BYEEE!”

…and off she trots.

No problems, right?


What you didn’t know here is that all the time she was on the phone, all she was doing was chuntering on to the premium rate phone line that she and her partners in crime have set up…at a rate of £100 a minute.

Which you won’t even realise until you get your bill.

And even if you could manage to find them again…YOU GAVE HER PERMISSION TO USE THE PHONE!

Did this dastardly con ever happen to me?

Nah – I tell everyone who knocks on my door to fuck off.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:25, 5 replies)
Not conned at all!
Am I the only person who's never been sold bad drugs - or do I look so dangerous no-one would try.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:21, 3 replies)
I would hope that everyone knows this by now, but anyway: if anyone ever accosts you on the street or in the train/bus station claiming that they've lost their ticket and money and just need enough to get them home...they're lying. I used to live within a stone's throw of King's Cross station and I'd get this line every other night on my way home.

Sadly, I wish I'd been wise to this ten years earlier, when living in Montreal. Close to skint myself, I was naive enough to hand over pretty much the last of my cash to a very charming and friendly fella of my own age, who at the Metro station one day poured out a very convincing sob story. He even gave me his 'phone number so I could call and let him know where to send a refund when he got home.

Of course the people on the other end of the line had never heard of the guy, and I was genuinely surprised and disappointed to discover that I'd been had.

*poof* and my innocence was gone.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:18, 2 replies)
I honestly believe my granddad is the original inspiration for Ronnie Barker's Arkwright character in "Open All Hours".

He, at various times, owned a series of shops in the local high street: butcher, hardware, groceries and a couple of pubs. And he knew all the tricks to spinning money out of everyone who came by.

These included intentionally making spelling or grammar errors on the signs outside the shops - so when some helpful soul came in to correct him, he could sell them something.

Back in 'the old days' when goods like milk and butter came in bulk and the customer bought as much of it as they wanted, it would me my grandmother [and later my mum]'s job to churn a pint of water into the butter and two pints into the milk to make it go further. Fruit and veg were washed every day - as the water made them weigh heavier. In the pub, the ketchup was diluted with vinegar, and the scraps were fed to the dogs - saved on dog food.

He'd also go to any lengths to secure a sale. Once, in the hardware shop, a customer came in looking to buy a china dinner service. She found none that she particularly liked onthe shelves, but admired the tea cup my granddad was drinking out of. "I'll just go check in the back, see if we've got a set left" he told her, quickly disappearing into the flat above the shop, where he got a box and some newspaper and neatly wrapped up all of my grandmother's wedding china to sell downstairs.

My favourite one, though, was just a few months ago, when we went to a car boot to get rid of some junk. there's my lovely old granddad, jolly twinkle in his eye, sweet-talking the little old ladies, completely radiating honesty and calling out "Books! Books only 20p! or four for a pound! That's right, buy four for just a pound!"

The amount of people who fell for it was astounding.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:18, Reply)
No, I dont want my fucking driveway tarmac'd - and that answer wont change with the rising and setting of a few suns.

No, means no, and coming back every day for a week trying to pressurize me wont work.

I also dont pay deposits for jobs. If you dont have the operating capital to provide the materials up front I wont offer the work to you. I dont pay 50 quid to Morrissons as a deposit before I do my shopping, why would I pay any to you?

And for christs sake, STOP throwing your fucking dog ends in my fuschia bushes. This act wont endear you to me.

Honestly you would look less like cowboys if you rode up my fucking driveway on a horse and wore spurs on your boots.
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:18, Reply)
i once purchased what i believed to be a fine bag of cocaine only to discover it had a very heady scent to it.

anyone care for a line of talc?
(, Thu 18 Oct 2007, 15:08, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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