Today, March 21 2023, BBC presents the series where Michelle Ackerley and her mum, Mavis, scrutinise the world of cyber fraud, hacking and other internet crime.
Dirty Rotten Scammers Today, March 21 2023
|Date||Summary||New / Repeat|
|Date||Summary||New / Repeat|
|Friday, 18 November 2022||Series 1 Episode 15 of 15|
When 72-year-old Sarah was given £25,000 by her cousin, she was thrilled to be able to invest it into a pension scheme. But the superb rate she was offered came at a far more significant cost - it was a scam. Having sent over a raft of documents with her money, Sarah feels more vulnerable than ever, just as she should be enjoying her retirement. She needs Mavis and Michelle to investigate whether she could be exposed to future fraudsters.
Jim’s son and grandson are worried that he has become a repeat target for scammers, and as he’s busy caring for their unwell grandma, they need to help him shut out the scammers as quickly as they can. This episode also includes a list of top tips and things to look out for if you’re worried scammers might be contacting you.
|Thursday, 17 November 2022||Series 1 Episode 14 of 15|
Care worker Peter was exhausted when he came off shift and answered the phone to the wrong person. Despite repeatedly questioning the scammers, who claimed to be calling from his bank's fraud team, Peter was eventually won over and ended up handing over almost £3,500. He is worried about how and why he was targeted, and he hopes Michelle and Mavis can provide the answers for him.
Also in the episode, Michelle meets Jim Browning, a scourge of scammers, for an online interview to learn how Jim has been hacking into the hackers and working with police to bring them down. Finally, we meet Theresa, who has lost a six-figure sum to cryptocurrency scammers and is worried about all the information she has given away in the process.
|Wednesday, 16 November 2022||Series 1 Episode 13 of 15|
While renovating a house, Nathan had a handful of bills to pay to contractors and looked at his emails to check the invoices prior to payment. But little did he know a hacker had accessed his email account, tweaked the invoices and convinced Nathan to send the money straight into their account. Now Nathan wants the ethical hackers to find out where else he could be exposed online, and they uncover passwords that mean Nathan may not have been keeping himself as safe as he’d like.
Also in the episode, Clare lost tens of thousands of pounds to a heartless scammer, but by joining forces with forensic financial investigator Richard Emery, Clare took on the banks and changed the way scams are treated by big financial institutions. And we hear the story of Laura. She thought she was getting a new driving licence, but when it didn’t turn up, she started to worry that she had been conned and had left a lot of her details exposed to potential scammers.
|Tuesday, 15 November 2022||Series 1 Episode 12 of 15|
Working mum Paula was getting ready for a night out with her husband when scammers called and advised her to move her money to a safe account. A few days later, she realised it was anything but safe. Also in the show, churchgoer Mia was asked by email to purchase some vouchers. It wasn't until she had bought six for more than £1,000 that she realised something was wrong and faced a fight to get her money back.
A team of ethical hackers investigate where Paula and Mia may have slipped up online and given out information about themselves that could have made them a target for scammers. Elsewhere, Michelle and Mavis are on the case, meeting Dr Roberta Babb to find out about the psychology behind scams. Forensic financial investigator Richard Emery shows them the steps banks are taking to shut these frauds down, and they learn important password hints and tips from a cybersecurity firm.
|Monday, 14 November 2022||Series 1 Episode 11 of 15|
Retired executive Elaine had never used online banking prior to the pandemic, but with calls to her bank's phone lines leaving her waiting hours, she decided to try. But after just one attempt, she was contacted by fraudsters who fleeced her out of £30,000. Joan rarely used the internet at all and says she’s not a ‘silver surfer’, but she was still scammed when someone used her card on Deliveroo. Now she and her family want answers as to how this could have happened. Meanwhile, the National Crime Agency is keen to stop any would-be hackers before they turn to crime, and we get to see its cease-and-desist programme in action.
|Friday, 11 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 10 of 15|
Erin was preparing to buy her first marital home with her partner, and with her deposit money saved and ready to go, it felt just a short step away. Then a call from what she was told was the Lloyds Fraud Team changed everything, as she was persuaded to move thousands of pounds to a safe account that was nothing of the sort.
We also meet Jo, whose business page on Facebook was cloned by a cunning hacker. They used the cloned page to convince Jo’s contacts to send them their bank details as part of a fake competition, and now Jo is worried it could happen again. The ethical hackers delve into both cases and come up with some significant revelations that will help keep Erin and Jo secure in the future.
Also featured is Reverend Steve, whose parish narrowly avoided a scam thanks to Miss Marple-like detective work from one of his congregation.
|Thursday, 10 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 9 of 15|
Opera singer Alexander had recently posted a package, so when he received a text about a parcel, he assumed all was exactly as he was expecting and went ahead and paid the fee. It led to him losing £8,000 to scammers, and he has been unable to recover his money via his bank. He knows he needs to boost his cyber security to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Rebecca, a lecturer at Cardiff University, says she felt ‘groomed’ and ‘abused’ by the scammers who took thousands from her. Speaking to Michelle and Mavis is an attempt to move on and find closure.
Also, a profile of the ethical hackers who have been working hard to stop scammers in their tracks and help people learn more about how to stay safe online.
|Wednesday, 9 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 8 of 15|
Having previously gone through the experience of someone trying to clone her bank cards, Sharon was alarmed when she had a call from an online marketplace fraud department and quickly got them off the phone. But the next day when a call came from her bank reporting suspicious activity, she responded quickly and transferred money to a safe account, only to discover she had lost £2,000 and the whole thing was a scam.
Lynne was looking to invest her money in a reliable investment but found herself being pressured by fraudsters to add thousands of pounds she simply didn’t have. The criminals took over her laptop after downloading a piece of tech, and now Lynne is panic-stricken about just how much information they may have on her.
Also, we follow Sussex police as they install call blocking technology in a vulnerable victim’s home to keep scam calls at bay.
|Tuesday, 8 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 7 of 15|
When Phil responded to a scam text, he wasn’t expecting to become embroiled in an investigation with the National Crime Agency, but after manipulative scammers convinced him to move large amounts of money through his account, he was fleeced for a five-figure sum. Ruth also replied to a scam text about a parcel delivery fee, and after losing a small amount of money, she has since been inundated with texts, calls and emails pestering her for more cash. Worried she’s been added to a ‘suckers list’, Ruth wants our ethical hackers' help to find out what information about her is online and how it is being used by the scammers.
Michelle and Mavis speak with the real National Crime Agency to find out more about Phil’s case, and tech expert and journalist Geoff White informs Michelle of some mistakes she might be making with her own password.
|Monday, 7 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 6 of 15|
Christine was alerted to unusual activity on her social media account, but by that point three of her friends had lost £300 each. Now Christine wants answers as to how her account was exposed. Michelle and Mavis are on the case alongside the team of ethical hackers.
Kaz got in touch after a scammer targeted her bitcoin account and extracted the profits she’d made on her investments, but what the hackers turn up reveals Kaz needs a major overhaul of her passwords to make sure all her accounts are safe.
Michelle meets with linguist Dr Lis Carter to learn about the language tricks scammers used in Christine’s case, and Lynn tells us how she went on her own ethical hacking mission to make sure she wouldn’t be ripped off again.
|Friday, 4 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 5 of 15|
Millie got a text from her phone company asking to tweak payment details on her account, and with the pandemic affecting her business, she responded quickly so as not to lose out. Then she got a call - scammers were able to persuade her to take out a £10k loan and overdraft by using her security information, and emptied her business account. Now Millie is convinced she’s been added to a suckers list and wants Michelle and Mavis’s help to get the scammers off her case.
Also today, the National Crime Agency talk us through their operation to bring down a website that is publishing people’s data and raking in thousands in the process.
|Thursday, 3 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 4 of 15|
Tom runs a business selling beauty products online and noticed a significant shortfall in his accounts not long after he’d clicked on a link he believed to be from an online auction site. Over three months, in incremental amounts, scammers took £14,000 from Tom’s accounts, and he has been unable to recover the money. Now he wants to be sure there’s nothing else left online that might leave him exposed to future scams and hacks.
Elsewhere, City of London police track down a Covid vaccine scammer.
|Wednesday, 2 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 3 of 15|
After tough shifts on a Covid ward, Nurse Melissa received a call telling her that her savings were under threat. Exhausted from her work, she went along with everything the caller said, and when she realized they were hackers, it was too late. She’d lost a five-figure sum. Our team of ethical hackers find that she is still potentially exposed online, and there’s work to be done to make sure she never gets scammed again.
The team also hear the story of ransomware scammer Zain Qaiser, who was part of an international hacking ring that was fleecing people for huge figures.
|Tuesday, 1 November 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 2 of 15|
Robyn and her boyfriend had a deposit saved for a house. As they prepared to complete, their financial advisor requested some money from their deposit, but the advisor’s emails had been hacked, and Robyn and her partner found themselves £10,000 worse off. Robyn has exhausted all avenues in terms of getting her money back, and as she prepares to buy a house all over again, she wants to know that her every transaction is safe from any potential scams.
Also today, we meet Maureen from Greater Manchester Police’s ‘Scambusters’ team as she reaches out to community members exposed to scams.
|Monday, 31 October 2022||Series 1 (Shortened Versions) Episode 1 of 15|
Sally received a large inheritance from her father, and thought the best place for it was a property investment. But when her lawyers instructed her to transfer the money for her deposit, little did Sally know that their email account had been hacked. As she sent ID documents and more to the lawyers, she’s now worried that the scammers might not just profit from her money, but also her data. Michelle and Mavis are on the case to reassure Sally that this is the last scam she’ll be caught up in.
Also in the episode, DCI Marc Cananur talks us through Kent Police’s prosecution of a disgruntled employee turned cyberhacker.
About Dirty Rotten Scammers
Michelle Ackerley and her mum, Mavis, scrutinise the world of cyber fraud, hacking and other internet crime.
This show is broadcast on BBC, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.