Nice one Nevill.
I always reckoned these programs, despite their moralising posture, encouraged larceny!
"Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein scammed by BBC's Real Hustle scam
Top restaurants including those run by television chefs Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein fell victim to a con by a man using a trick he learnt from the BBC television show The Real Hustle.
By Stephen Adams
Published: 5:52PM GMT 03 Dec 2009
Carl Nevill, 23, had seen the confidence trick on the popular BBC Three programme and decided to try it out in real life.
Nevill approached upmarket restaurants including Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, and Rick Stein's The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall and claimed that a waiter had spilt wine on him during a meal there.
He then emailed them a dry cleaning receipt for 9 that he had downloaded off the internet and asked the restaurants to reimburse him.
But in reality, Nevill had never eaten at any of the restaurants, let alone been the victim of a clumsy waiter.
According to police, after he received the cheques he would alter them by simply adding a zero, meaning he would make 90 on each fraudulent claim.
However, he was finally caught after staff became suspicious when he tried to cash four of the cheques at a shop in Maidstone, Kent.
Nevill, from Croydon, Surrey, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation and asked for another four offences to lie on file after appearing at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Police Constable Steve Hobbs of Maidstone Police, who was investigating the case, said after the hearing that such confidence tricks could cause "untold misery" in the real world.
He said: "Although people may be tempted to try out the cons portrayed in programmes like The Real Hustle, they have to remember there are also real consequences.
"Unlike the television hustlers, real con artists can cause untold misery and deserve to be dealt with accordingly."
Nevill was fined 200 and asked to pay court costs as well as 90 in compensation each to The Fat Duck, The Seafood Restaurant and The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe, near King's Lynn, Norfolk.
The Real Hustle shows people being conned using magic tricks, distraction scams and other techniques.
Scams it has demonstrated that could be repeated without much technical know-how include taking a deposit on a second-hand car from a number of potential buyers and replacing a computer keyboard in an office with one that logs the keys that are tapped, in order to collect bank details and passwords.
It is meant to demonstrate how easy it is to be the victim of a scam, according to the BBC.
A spokesman said: "The Real Hustle arms individuals and businesses with the information they need to avoid being scammed. We in no way condone any criminal behaviour."
The popular programme, presented by magician Alex Conran, conjuror Ronald (sic) Wilson and model Jessica-Jane Clement, has run for six series.
The first series, broadcast in 2006, was a spin-off from the BBC One drama Hustle, starring Robert Vaughn of The Man from U. N. C. L. E. fame."