Show about conning public is accused of doing just that
London — A BBC show about conning the public has been accused of … conning the public.“The Real Hustle,” aired in the U.K. by youth web BBC3, purports to show real people as victims of scams. But a report published Feb. 20 in the Sunday Mirror claimed that the program, made by U.K. shingle Objective Productions, pays actors to portray victims of confidence tricks. The Corp describes “The Real Hustle” as “an educational” show in which hustlers “try out some notorious scams on members of the public.” The aim of the program is to reveal how scams work so that auds can avoid falling victim to the same con. The Sunday Mirror alleged that actors are often used by producers and that the show even advertises for actors on talent website StarNow, and are paid between £30 ($49) to £500 ($811) to appear. Mindful of the fakery scandals that harmed U.K. terrestrial webs in 2007, the BBC said that it had launched an investigation into the claims. A BBC spokesman said: “It is of paramount importance to the BBC that our audiences are not misled by the programs we broadcast. We will examine any alleged breaches of our editorial standards relating to ‘The Real Hustle’ as a matter of urgency and will take appropriate action if required.” In a statement, Objective said: “Objective Productions categorically deny that ‘The Real Hustle’ has ever briefed the ‘marks’ or victims of the hustles about the true nature of the scam before the event. All the people on the show have been hustled for real and their reactions are genuine.” “The Real Hustle” has been sold to numerous webs overseas and there are several foreign versions of the show including one made for the U.S. market.