The Real Hustle

By David Knox on September 14, 2010 / Filed Under Programming, Reviews 16

According to The Real Hustle, one in three Aussies are subjected to a con of some sort every year.

I’m not sure how many more are swindled by television networks, but I reckon it would be a higher figure. Especially if you fall for this one.

Is there something inappropriate in Clare Werbeloff misleading Sydney police with her “Chk chk boom” story only to be ‘rewarded’ with a television gig? Just who is scamming whom now?

Werbeloff’s appearance in this one hour special  is brief. She participates in two staged scams. There are two other blokes as her scam sidekicks.

At the top of the episode we’re told that everyone who was tricked by the production has had their belongings or money restored and agreed to have the footage used in the interests of bringing the scams to the attention of the public. Not so that Nine can peddle a show out of it.

Presenting the special is Underbelly actor Gyton Grantley, explaining every step of the various heists. A fraud squad detective adds a voice of experience to the trickery.

This special is produced by Southern Star and based on a UK series that was inspired by the success of the drama series Hustle.

Some segments are staged by the Aussie team, whilst others in London and New York are obviously from productions in the UK and USA.

There are scams involving bag stealing, credit card skimming, bag snatching, laptop switching and clever shoplifting. None on television production.

It would be hard not to presume that some people could glean plenty of tips from this special, as something of a “How To.”

Originally filmed as two half hour episodes, this airs as a one-hour special. The opening montage includes footage of other scams that don’t appear,

The Real Hustle is a light distraction, but ultimately the content doesn’t aim any higher than the kind of segment demonstrated by various current affairs shows. Which may really be the ultimate con of all.

Do not attempt this at home.

The Real Hustle airs 9pm Tuesday on Nine.

16 Comments »

  1. With Held September 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm -

    wait for it…20 20 special on gullible bogans

  2. Jaye September 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm -

    I watched about 15 minutes of it before I switched channels. It was crappy.

  3. chk chk September 15, 2010 at 11:58 am -

    I enjoyed it although it made me more paranoid now especially with that scam on providing your ATM PIN on the phone. Scammers are really getting very sophisticated now and that’s what the show has provided, to be more aware of those sophisticated scams.

  4. Nathan September 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm -

    @Dick there’s a difference between reporting the facts in the case of the Hitler documentaries and showing how to actually steal a handbag or a TV in the case of The Real Hustle.

  5. Dick September 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm -

    “It would be hard not to presume that some people could glean plenty of tips from this special, as something of a “How To.””

    You really honestly don’t believe that, do you? You might as well say watching a documentary on Hitler’s rise to power will teach you how to become a fascist dictator. Sure this show is crap, but it’s harmless crap. There are bigger things to worry and complain about on Aussie TV…like Oprah’s impending invasion. Where were the snarky comments about that? :D

  6. Secret Squïrrel September 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm -

    It’s pretty clear that the execs at Nine think that LCD TV stands for Lowest Common Denominator Television. David’s right – this is more of an instruction manual for budding scammers than a genuine attempt to assist the community to be better able to avoid being ripped off.

    It’s indicative of Nine’s whole attitude that they think it’s appropriate to reward someone who misled police about a serious crime with another 15 minutes of fame. No thanks.

  7. RoD September 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm -

    The race to the bottom continues… dreadful looking show.
    Great review and excellent points, David.

    I noted the advert showed them ripping off a stunt from the French film ‘Micmacs’ where a suitcase with a fake bottom is lowered over a briefcase at a train station (swallowing the briefcase). Unless French surrealist films now equate to reality – this is not so much Real Hustle but Real Plagarism.

  8. v September 14, 2010 at 11:20 am -

    Well said David. I will definitely not be watching this show, and would never ever watch anything with that silly Chk chk boom chick was in, she typifies everything wrong in society.

    I have to say there is not one show on Ch 7 or 9 in prime time that I actually watch. These networks treat their viewers like idiots and are pretty much clones of each other.

    If you need to watch this show to figure out how not to be scammed then that says it all really.

    My prediction is it will last one week…… hopefully.

  9. JB September 14, 2010 at 10:12 am -

    Won’t be watching, hope no one else does either. Next.

  10. Trix September 14, 2010 at 9:51 am -

    Ah, but @chk chk, just because you’re related, doesn’t mean you have to stick up for her.

  11. Jack September 14, 2010 at 9:26 am -

    Sounds like a more serious version of Candid Camera!

  12. chk chk September 14, 2010 at 9:17 am -

    Oh David, that’s a tad unfair don’t u reckon?? Watch this guys. :-) It only aims to educate those gullibles which is really a concern considering that there are so many Aussies being scammed daily.

  13. steve September 14, 2010 at 9:02 am -

    Well said David – I’ll be avoiding this one like the plague!
    Must admit I was going to tune in for possible cautionary advice, but knowing now that the chk-chk creature (whom I loathe beyond words) is going to be starring in it acts like an Ebola quarantine sign.
    Waht’s happening? Is the bar set so low it doesn’t exist anymore? Is there no such thing as bad publicity? Are commercial TV viewers really that stupid?

    You know these people David, just what are TV execs thinking?

  14. tomothy September 14, 2010 at 8:49 am -

    I thought this was going to be a series not just a one off special (or two 1/2 hrs). Why bother going to all the trouble. Just show the UK version on GO! or GEM.

  15. t.v. watcher September 14, 2010 at 8:21 am -

    Nice review David. To the point and honest. Good reporting.

  16. Craig September 14, 2010 at 5:57 am -

    :lol: good one David.

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