Image credit: Chambers Management
Just a quick note…
Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉
This is a listening activity for B2+ students based around a Youtube clip of a Joe Lycett stand-up comedy routine on the subject of scammers. Download the handout, teacher’s notes, full transcript and powerpoint below:
Use the first slide of the PowerPoint to pre-teach the UK cultural references students will need for the video:
- Class and social status are very important in the UK, this manifests itself in snobbery about supermarkets: Waitrose is a posh expensive supermarket, Aldi is a cheap, lower quality one.
- Dorothy Perkins is a relatively cheap high street clothes shop.
- Gumtree is a popular website where people list many things: properties for rent, things for sale etc.
- A scam is when someone tries to trick someone else out of their money. Common scams include: email scams, social media scams, rental scams, holiday apartment scams (timeshare), fake goods scams (watches, shoes, handbags etc.)
- In pairs students compare their own country with the UK, do these scams exist?
Students discuss in pairs.
- You’re going to watch a video of the British comedian Joe Lycett telling a story about how he scammed a scammer via email.
- What do you think he’s going to do?
Watch the first part of the video (until 01:26) and answer the question:
- What is the scam? A property scam, to get a viewing of a flat, potential tenants must transfer money using a site called moneytoindia.eu
Now watch again and answer these questions:
- Why does Joe start emailing Gemma? His friend discovers it and realises it is a scam.
- What does Gemma say about the flat? That it is in a beautiful area with parking facilities.
- What does Gemma ask Joe to do? Send $220 and his home address.
Prediction: What is Joe going to do next?
Watch the next part (until 2:06): Were your predictions correct?
- Where did Joe say he was? In Stockholm
- Where was he really? In his garden in Birmingham drinking prosecco.
- What was Gemma’s excuse for not meeting him? That she was in Berlin on a business trip.
Predict: What do you think Joe will do next?
Watch the next part (until 3:28): Were your predictions correct?
- What does the German phrase Joe uses mean? I know this is a scam.
- How did Joe make his story more convincing? By including a photo of himself in Berlin from a previous holiday.
- How did Joe finish the latest email? By saying he was going to contact the FBI to check Gemma out.
Predict: What do you think will happen next?
Watch the rest of the video: Were your predictions correct?
- How did Gemma react to Joe’s email about the FBI? She panicked and sent lots of emails.
- How did Joe give Gemma a taste of her own medicine? By asking her to send him $300 to cancel the FBI check.
- What did Gemma say in her last email? That she was sorry and would try to live a better life.
- What did you think of the video?
Decoding – Transcript Work – KEY
Watch the first part of the video again and fill in the gaps in the transcript with what you hear:
So this is my favorite thing that’s come as a result of me being a bit weird with somebody online. A friend of mine was looking for somewhere to live in London, which as I’m sure you’re aware is quite expensive, quite difficult increasingly.
He found somewhere on gumtree that looked kind of promising did a bit of emailing back and forth and realized pretty quickly this is probably a scam and so he sent all the emails that he’d done already over to me and just did the subject heading: “do your absolute worst”. A girl called Gemma, who was supposedly advertising this property, I sent her a fresh email, I said: “Hello Gemma I’m contacting you regarding the apartment listed on Gumtree, I’m interested in a viewing and wanted to arrange, regards Joe Lycett.” I used my own name on this one.
- Is this a good way to deal with scammers?
- Do similar scams exist in your country?
- Have you ever been a victim of a scam?
- What do you think of this type of comedy? Do you find it funny?
- Which other stand-up comedians do you like? Have you ever been to a live show?
- Did you enjoy this activity?
If students are struggling to understand the text, try slowing the speed down on youtube, or give them the full transcript as a last resort.