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TLC: Who's Conning Whom? - Broadcasting & Cable

TLC: Who's Conning Whom?

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TLC hopes to teach viewers a thing or two with their upcoming series with the working title Con Game. But first they’ll have to see if they’re being conned themselves.

The TLC pilot, slated for 2008, appears to be a hidden-camera show in which an unknowing participant is the victim of a home-repair scam. According to a TLC statement, the purpose of the show is to fight back "against the scam artists who bilk Americans out of hundreds of millions of dollars a year" by "teaching viewers the techniques of the con artist’s world."

But Flash! notes that a casting call for the show posted on Craigslist.com seems to invite folks to get in on the act. "TLC’s new show wants homeowners interested in scamming their housemate/significant other!" the posting reads. "You play along with us and rope your significant other into being scammed" while watching it all from "a surveillance van right outside your home!" And it’s "perfect for pulling a prank on your housemate for April Fools!"

A TLC spokesperson stated that she had been unaware of the Craigslist post, adding, "This [show] is not Punk’d for homeowners."

At press time, TLC could not confirm whether there would actually be a hidden camera used on the show. The spokesperson added that a "rogue recruiter" might have posted the ad.

In other words, maybe someone is beating TLC at its own game.

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