Street scammers targeting Ilford shoppers with sleight of hand

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 January 2020

Redbridge council is urging people to not fall for the three-cup-scam. Picture: Redbridge Council

Redbridge council is urging people to not fall for the three-cup-scam. Picture: Redbridge Council


Shoppers visiting Ilford Town Centre are being warned against falling for a three-cup scam being operated by street gamblers.

The three-cup act deceives unsuspecting victims by using a simple game of trickery. A shopper recently lost £200 to the con.

The main scam artist will hide a ball under one of three cups, and then move the cups around quickly, before asking members of the public to bet on where the ball has ended up.

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Fellow con artists are placed within the crowd to bet and win, in order to encourage other members of the public to participate, and then sleight of hand is used to make sure people lose their money.

Leader of Redbridge Council Cllr Jas Athwal said: "Due to an influx in the number of three cup scammers illegally operating within Ilford Town Centre, we are urging people to not get sucked into this scam.

"Our message is quite simple: do not engage or get involved with the people behind this scam. You will only lose your hard-earned money."

The three-cup trick also provides the perfect opportunity for pickpockets to operate amongst the crowds.

Redbridge Police have now created a special taskforce to tackle this issue, and you can report concerns at 07938 902329 or

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