A BBC investigation has been launched into allegations that actors were paid to play the part of fraud victims in The Real Hustle.

The BBC Three programme has been rocked with claims that parts of the show were faked and that some were in on the scams all along. It has also been alleged that people supposedly playing unwitting members of the public were paid to appear.

BBC bosses vowed to investigate and take action if necessary. A spokesman said: “It is of paramount important to the BBC that our audiences are not misled by the programmes we broadcast.

“We will examine any alleged breaches of our editorial standards relating to The Real Hustle as a matter of urgency and will take appropriate action if required”.

The premise of the show is to demonstrate how people can be easily scammed, to prevent similar happenings in the future.

According to The Sun, an extra who claimed he was paid £20 to pretend to be a victim of a cashpoint scam said: “It was complete rubbish – it was faked.

“I was shocked when I found out they were claiming everyone in the show was a member of the public”.

Objective Productions however rejected the accusation: “Objective Productions categorically deny that The Real Hustle has ever briefed the ‘marks’ or victims of the hustles about the true nature of the scam before the event.

“All of the people on the show have been hustled for real and their reactions are genuine.

“We have never employed an actor as a ‘mark’, briefed them in advance and asked them to fake their initial reaction to the scam.

“Occasionally, because of, for example, equipment problems, we have had to re-shoot short elements of the set-up after the hustle has been completed and that can involve giving some direction to the ‘marks’ to ensure that the footage matches, however it is completely untrue to say that any ‘mark’ was an actor who was fully briefed in advance and paid to act as though they had been hustled.”