Fraud Forensics with Tony Sales

Season 4, Episode 1,   Mar 18, 07:11 AM

For twenty years, Tony Sales was Britain's biggest fraudster. From cloning credit cards and identities to emptying cash machines and being a confidence trickster, Tony knew how to make money.  In this first episode of the new series of Listening to the Dead, Lynda and Cass are joined by Tony and his colleague, former Head of the Fraud Squad Andy McDonald about fraud, to discuss fraud: how investigating it has evolved, the current threats, the impact on victims and the devastating iSpoof case of 2023. 

As a fraudster, Sales could make people believe whatever he wanted them to. As analogue crime turned digital, Sales adapted his skills and became a prolific online fraudster, quickly identifying and exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in the system. And so he continued until one day a mistake on a job in Sheffield saw him arrested. While serving time, Sales decided to turn his life around. As Frank Abagnale Jr. had done in the US, Sales went from poacher to game-keeper and set up We Fight Fraud, a company dedicated to helping governments and financial institutions to prevent fraud.

And it was well timed. Fraud has become bigger than ever in the UK. Scammers were responsible for nearly 1.4m cases of fraud in the UK during the first half of 2023.

Overall, criminals stole £580m in the first six months of the year, suggesting households are likely to have lost more than £1bn to fraudsters in the year.

How do we stop fraudsters? What investigative and forensic tools do the police have? Join Lynda and Cass as they explore the most prolific crime in the world.

Lynda La Plante's final Jane Tennison thriller Whole Life Sentence is available to pre-order now in all formats. To find out more about upcoming episodes of Listening to the Dead and Lynda's other books, visit

Tony Sales’ memoir The Big Con is out now in audiobook. 

This podcast was made by Bonnier Books UK
Hosts: Lynda La Plante, Cass Sutherland and Jon Watt
Director: Jon Watt
Producer: Laura Makela
Theme Music: Game Over by Magic in the Other