Are they real con artists, or are they just actors and writers and TV producers?
The Real Hustle is a BBC TV program that demonstrates various unstaged scams, sure-thing bets and con games on unsuspecting victims. But the Sunday Mirror newspaper investigated the show and said that many of the victims, known as "marks," are actually actors. The show countered by saying:
"All the people on the show have been hustled for real and their reactions are genuine. We have never employed an actor as a ‘mark’, briefed them in advance and asked them to fake their initial reaction to the scam. Occasionally, because of equipment problems, we have had to re-shoot short elements of the set up after the hustle has been completed and that can involve giving some direction to the ‘marks’ to ensure that the footage matches. It is completely untrue to say that any ‘mark’ was an actor briefed in advance and paid to act as though they had been hustled."
So did the show scam the viewing public with their scam show?
It’s a type of reality show. My guess is that the producers would have to admit that what’s most important is not whether the show is real or not, but whether it could be real or not.
The BBC vows to investigate.
A "proposition bet" from The Real Hustle:
How to Get Free Drinks with a Bar Bet
Real Hustle faking: Actors hired to pretend they are scammed, The Mirror>>