Thursday, 10 January 2013

Staying scam savvy with Endsleigh and Paul Wilson

What with christmas not that far into the past and always inevitable to come back around we asked Paul Wilson from The Real Hustle a few questions about scams and the like in conjunction with Endsleigh and their gadget safety campaign.

Endsleigh Insurance are on their latest gadget safety campaign. Endsleigh have recruited BBC 3 Real Hustle star, Paul Wilson as their Head of Gadget Safety and Paul will be highlighting the importance of keeping your phones, iPads and laptops safe, particularly over Christmas. He’ll be revealing the tricks criminals can use to steal your gadgets and how you can combat them. Vital for bloggers who need lots of equipment – cameras, computers and phones.

Here is a little background about Paul himself and the questions put to him..

Born in Cyprus, raised in Singapore and Scotland, Paul attended Art School but dropped out at 18 to join the British Army Intelligence Corps. 

By 20 he had left the Army due to injury and was living in London working as a magician and street entertainer during the day, and a casino hustler at night. 

Paul then worked as a computer programmer for some of Europe’s largest financial companies, where he learnt some of the tricks of the computer hacker. His knowledge of computers helped him develop an ingenious (but illegal) system for predicting where a roulette ball would land. 

He now works on the right side of the law as a security consultant for Las Vegas casinos to catch con-artists. He was also “cheating consultant” for the Sylvester Stallone movie Shade and he worked on the new film, Smokin’ Aces. 

Paul says: "If I really had the larceny to use the skills I've learned over the years I'd probably be rich, famous or dead. Probably all three."

You can find out more about Paul and the Real Hustle team here

What’s the most common street scam?

I think pickpocketing qualifies as a street scam because it depends on a certain level of skill. It’s incredibly common, of course. Another might be versions of the “Monte Game” where people on the street are encouraged to bet on finding a card or pea under three shells. This is an age-old scam and is NEVER a game. It depends on powerful psychology and even the smartest people can be drawn in. I see this all over the world. There are many more, I could go on for hours...

Where is the most common place to be scammed?

Today, the answer is almost certainly “The Internet”. So many bogus schemes, phoney deals and counterfeit products exist online that it is almost certainly the “biggest store” in history for conmen.

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