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Paul C Dwyer, Ad Speaker 1, Tony Sales


Paul C Dwyer  00:10

Hey folks, welcome to the cyber Task Force podcast. This is the show but everything cyber from embracing innovation to cybersecurity and everything in between. We can go from the very, very dark to the brightest bright topics. So listener discretion is advised. This is your host Paul Dwyer. And on this episode, we’re going to talk to Tony sales, who’s known as Britain’s greatest forecaster, but his upcoming book, The Big calm. So if that’s something you’re interested in great, keep listening.


Ad Speaker 1  00:40

This episode is sponsored by CyberPrism is an award winning platform that allows you to measure and manage cyber risk in a really effective way. More about that later, and now on with our show.


Paul C Dwyer  00:58

So you’re very welcome to this podcast. And in this episode, I’m going to be talking to none other than Tony sales. Tony sales, you may know as his headline that goes longer term is often Britain’s greatest fraudster. He has a very interesting background, one of the most passionate experts speakers I’ve come across on the subject of cyber crime and fraud. And look at enough of that in relation to the background of bio because I’m sure we will be peppering in and out of that as we go through this conversation. So I’m going to hand over to Tony and ask Tony to introduce himself. Tell me what he’s up to these days, because it’s been quite a little while since Mr. Bertoni you’ve had a chat or a pint I should say. And have you been getting on tour and COVID? Tony, what have you been up to?


Tony Sales  01:36

Yeah, not bad. And thanks for inviting me on Paul. It’s great to be here. And like you say, we haven’t spoken for a while. Normally, we have our little chats in the hairy lemon when I’m over. But yeah, it’s it’s been really busy since lockdown, to be honest. I mean, we kind of done a, we put on a show, with, like a quite full live show at the beginning, where we started to predict stuff that we was going to see in the marketplace and got a few pen tests come in from some banks, of which we was able to do some really good penetration testing. And, and that’s keeping this really busy for a while. In the midst of all that as well. I wrote a book. So


Paul C Dwyer  02:18

I saw that it’s definitely gone into the Christmas stockings, because I can’t wait to read it to be honest. Which is December, isn’t it?


Tony Sales  02:24

Yeah, comes out on the third of December. Yeah.


Paul C Dwyer  02:27

And tell us like what you look at, you’re one of the most busy men I know when it comes to the world of cyber and fraud and speaking and, and the things to do around We Fight Fraud, and, and so on all the various projects that you get involved in, obviously, the book was in you tell us about the book, what’s in it.


Tony Sales  02:45

it’s an autobiography mate, you know, it’s just kind of me telling the story of what happened, you know, and how I ended up here today, really, and doing what I do. It’s emotional. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things that you realize, you know, over the last few years, I’ve got to make TV shows, I’ve got to do loads of different types of things and learning all about the brain and how trauma as a child affected me and I was around a lot of domestic violence. And my parents both left me with my grandmother by the time I was a year old. So there was a lot of trauma that crept in. And that kind of stuff doesn’t really get addressed normally, but I kinda have been in a really lucky place. Since we we’ve been doing We Fight Fraud really to kind of understand myself a lot better than I have a day before. And hopefully that can be something I give back to people that they can learn from my mistakes going forward. So


Paul C Dwyer  03:46

that’s really interesting, because it’s something I’ve talked about as well, when we look at cyber criminals, and how we often just, if you like, catch the more vulnerable cyber criminal. And you know that you suffer from the talks we’ve had around the fact that the ones that end up in court often suffer from Asperger’s syndrome. They’re often the victims themselves and end up in that world of crime. Can you for the for the audience that don’t know your background? Could you give us a little synopsis of how you ended up in the world of fraud because the Tony sales I met and became friends was somebody who’s passionate about doing the right thing and spreading knowledge to help. So obviously, there was a different persona or your path took you in a different way if you became, quote unquote, Britain’s Great Britain’s greatest Foster. However, those early days, how did you end up and how did that go?


Tony Sales  04:37

Yes, I mean, you know, in the early days, it was I kind of got into fraud when I was around 12 or 13. It just started really simply by going door to door and getting people to fill out sponsorship forms for us yeah, and then you know, it just quickly evolved into all different types of crime you just end up you know, we are I got really good at figuring out how to smash a Fruit machine in the right place, pull the screen back reject all the cash. No like these are? No by the time I was 16, I’ve done a move where I’ve got 16,000 pounds. Yeah. And in one move, but I had a lot of money saved up by that age because I’m living in a place that’s full of crime. born into poverty, and I don’t come from a wealthy background, I come from a working class background. And then I’m living with my grandparents. And then kind of ask a girl out when I was 13. And that kind of spiraled into she called me a little tramp. And the emotions are, oh, what does that mean? Like I come from not like anyone else, you know, but I’ve got consoles that are one pound 99. And I’m not living my grandparents didn’t really care about brands, they’ve lived through the war. And brands seemed immaterial to anything like that. And that, that kind of sets off a whole chain reaction of me trying to want to better myself for a long time. And then you add that, you know, you add in, that my mom gives me to my Nan. At two days old, my dad leaves my mom a year after I’m born. And then my mom gets with this other guy who dares domestic violence constantly around me, you know, my moral compass is twisted, it goes around a different way. And so I start to think differently, you know, and there’s a whole, it takes a long time when your brain is trained in a certain way to untrain it and change it around and eventually…


Paul C Dwyer  06:42

Yeah, I get that ,I mean, even when we look at people like Dimitri Dmitri Golubov, who would have set up the, you know, the original carding forums coming from Odessa. The commonality is, it was a way of life, it was survival, it wasn’t you, you perceived yourself doing something wrong. And I, I can really hear what you’re saying, because we often see this now, when when children get involved in cybercrime, they see it as an extension of gameplay, it was just a hack, it was just a cheat code, it was just a whatever to get through. And then obviously, as you’re growing up your brains developing into an adult brain, but at some stage, it got big, I don’t mean the brain, literally the crimes. And I mean, the impact you realize was wrong. What was that sort of point in your journey? Was it when you were arrested when convicted? Or was it a person?


Tony Sales  07:30

Yeah. So by the time I’d got caught on the you know, so I go for a whole load of stuff, I’ll leave you to read, but by the time I get caught, you know, for doing the fraud stuff, I’ve been on the run for six years, like my whole DNA kind of changed as a person, you know, I was, probably I, you know, I’ve always had ADHD, I’ve got aggression problems, look at what’s going on in my childhood, you bring that to an adult, you know, you you naturally have aggression, it comes out, I just can’t help it. I subdued all that being on the run for all that time, I get caught, I’m in jail and my wife doesn’t come to see me for three months, because she hasn’t, No, she doesn’t know anything. I haven’t told her that I’ve been on the run for six years. And when she does, she brings my son with her, “Zack”, and he was crying. And that was kind of it, I kind of looked and thought that all the stuff that I had not wanting to do to any of my kids. You know, I’m pushing it onto my kids now. And that was really powerful. That coupled with a couple of things, the police of the arresting police officer said, Just then kicks in, you know, I want to change my life and become passionate about helping people, you know, in a different way. And I was one of the first talking about people and businesses, you know, corprates and personal, or corporates in the day, and then have an evening it would become personal, because I’m understanding the difference between that and then you know, how you target people in their personal lives, not criminal inside that you can give to people just becomes great. You know.


Paul C Dwyer  09:09

I mean, like, I’m just thinking back to when I met you first. And I’ve never seen that aspect of it. You mentioned there about the the inclination, maybe for violence and so forth, that maybe you saw that as part of your makeup of your character, because it was, as you say, after that period of time, I could see what when I met you as a person, as the same as I would have in the business, we’re in quote, unquote, trust issues being able to be around, but there’s also to me, I have always recognized a huge vulnerability to you as well, in one way, you’re very trusting people, but a very smart guy. And at some stage, obviously, the fireworks went off that moment when Zack came in to see in prison and decided, you know, I’m actually going to do something good with my skills with life and which is obviously you’re you’re very unusual in that That regard because most will just keep a low profile, they, you know, the geezer down the pub who’s a little bit smarter than someone else and has a nicer pair of trainers and someone else, but you’ve decided to devote your life to doing something really positive with it, and not smoke up your ass Tony, it’s just the reality of it is you have the skills, this experience, which is unique. And I commend you, because when I see you on the stage, it’s it that stuff can’t be faked. It got in the world, but he can’t talk like you talk because you’ve walked the walk. And, you know, what, how do you turn that into a business? Because you’re an entrepreneur? Right? Yeah.


Tony Sales  10:38

It’s not giving up mate, you know, the ultimate goal to all of it is a belief in yourself and, and not give up, you know, I’m like, I’m a fighter. Yeah, I’ll keep going. Well, some might give up on something. And they think they can’t quite see the picture yet. But I’ll keep building it and building it around there to bring a much bigger picture over here. And I think, you know, me and Adam, business wise. Gave me like a real note for the first time I can get a camera. And we can make really good content that we’re able to wow an audience with. And that brings a set of trust as well. Now that brings trust, when you can do that sort of level of content, we can


Paul C Dwyer  11:20

benefit as the audience, Tony Adam works with you in underworld TV. And I know you’ve done some great programs there. And I’ve looked at your website on the world of TV and and some really good stuff out there that can be very proud of I know, Adam is a renowned expert in the field as well. So it that that was a great partnership, a great chemistry between you two in being able to produce product if you like being able to produce content.


Tony Sales  11:42

Yeah, definitely. And then when you add into the mix, Andy McDonald, who’s the ex head of fraud for new Scotland Yard there? Yeah, for the Metropolitan Police. You add that into the mix. And then Solomon Gilbert, you know, who’s so talented? I mean, it’s just wow, wow, unbelievably gifted. And you kind of now have a real melting pot of, of expertise, that when you put that together, you’ve got the same as what the Russian guys would have, yes, the Russian mafia may have some hackers, but they’ve got the criminal element to it now has that criminal element to it? Yeah. Which is really dangerous. And so we’re able to move the world in that way. And of course, it just got worse. I think I said it in 2012. When we first May, yeah, that is only going to get worse. And you know us. We’re both on the same page here about this, because it’s so obvious to us, we can see it but not everyone can and it’s gonna create a much worse.


Paul C Dwyer  12:40

yeah, I think, look, you’re obviously an evangelist on the subject and press, you know, pushing out the positivity piece. I’m interested in any recent observations, you might have made during COVID, because we see Europol and Interpol and even the World Health Organization, reporting on over 500% increase in COVID related fraud and scams and stuff like that. Is that the stuff you still have your finger on the pulse of that you’re seeing?


Tony Sales  13:06

Yeah, definitely. I mean, you know, the tests allow us to see what’s going on, just as a criminal network would as well, right. So that I mean, it’s getting really tricky. I mean, there’s there’s criminals now looking for internal members of staff in certain companies, so they can implant stuff that they’re going to do at later dates, right. And that’s really, really, really dangerous. Because, you know, if you’ve got someone thinking that far ahead in the chess game, you know, when by the time they’ve played all their pawns to get to this point, that’s when they’re going to pull the big one. Yeah, that’s where the problems are. I know, the stuff that’s out there and all that. And, I mean, I think that the encryption stuff of cities is really dangerous. You know, I think I’ve been saying for a while, the text messaging system, and the way that an SS seven hack can just take everything in one here. I mean, we found vulnerabilities that we don’t even need to go that far. Yeah, we could take the whole city. So that to me is petrifying. When you think of, you know, the power that that could give a terrorist network is, is unbelievable mate. I know you you spoke about that stuff over the years.


Paul C Dwyer  14:16

Yeah. It’s even if you think back to 9-11, a george bush coming out and saying we’ll never negotiate with terrorists. And then you have a state paying ransoms to terrorists for ransomware. How the game has changed, you know.


Tony Sales  14:31

it’s just totally changed. Yeah. And you can’t catch him. Yeah, I’m gonna catch him. Yeah. Well,


Paul C Dwyer  14:36

I mean, that’s it. I know. One thing that we’ve always agree with is that the most powerful thing we can do is send out that education message to leaders of businesses, so that can diffuse down throughout their culture and how they actually operate the businesses and so on. How effective Are you being with that? Because I know I’m sort of COVID has impacted your public speaking engagements around the world and all that good stuff. But But are you diversifying or is it all virtual summit stuff now? You’re doing how are you getting that message out to leadership? Because one of the things I was mightily impressed by was the credibility of law enforcement to join stages with you, because that shows the maturity, I will say on that realization, their point that they need people like you with your skills. Yeah, I mean, so the PSNI, or the meta, whoever it is, you know, that’s brilliant, like to see that. So you’re no longer the pariah, you know, no longer the bad guy, you’re the guy who can actually learn from, from that respect? I mean, how are you doing that on a day to day basis? Now? I mean, what’s your strategy over short term and 2021?


Tony Sales  15:35

Yeah, so I suppose that what we’ve been doing, like we’ve created like a really sexy, unique training platform, that So Adam and I have developed a drama quite a while ago called crooks. So it’s really easy to adapt for us, and create a drama, that’s kind of like the BBC drama, but we can incorporate all the stuff that we learn on a pen test with it, and then play that all within it. So for instance, the social engineering calls, we can play out with actors, and pinpoint them to where they want to go. And that, that seems like a really unique way of doing stuff. With companies and we created something we call a HTA, as well. So a holistic threat assessment, which, as you will know, every single business is different, right? And that it’s about adapting with the business and showing them where their vulnerabilities lie, as if a criminal network or attacking them and that we get a lot of traction with that one, able to break their systems, again, the credibility goes up, the conversations that we have are normally at board level. So we’re already tapping into the influences of these companies. And then, of course, they bring it on their staff. And we try to start in the back end with what we learn interactive around crooks, which you know,


Paul C Dwyer  16:57

in the kinetic world, Tony, is it the social engineering, the getting into rooms and all that stuff that has such a dramatic effect on people? Or is it a combination of that and some cyber stuff as well? You mentioned the pen testing.


Tony Sales  17:09

Yeah, it’s a mix of both. So we created it. So we’d like to show the criminal aspect of it as well. Yes, the crooks the drama will show. So the last one that we done earlier on today, actually was what we done, we created this, this scenario of someone tried to buy cocaine from Italy. And they had to transfer 300,000 euros over. Yeah, yeah. So in between that I’d actually fraudulently opened up a bank account. Yeah. allowed me to transfer up to half a million pounds in one here. Yeah. Without any ID. Yeah, totally socially engineered it over the phone. So all we done was played out those parts, I play myself within the drama. And of course, when you tie in all the other stuff around it. So you’ve got the cocaine, you’ve got the gangsters, you’ve got the connection with the mafia. And it all now comes into play and become something really interesting now. Yeah, it’s engaging.


Paul C Dwyer  18:07

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, and they can buy into it. I mean, it’s always getting that balance, right? Isn’t it between being entertaining and educating at the same time? And certainly, because you’re the real deal, I think you can always relate it back to the real stories, and people know that it’s credible. And it’s not just the stuff of movies and so on. I mean, if you were if you had one message to put out to business owners at the moment, and one message to give consumers what would you be saying to them about about fraud about their identity? what they should be worried about? You know, it especially because I’m with you on this COVID thing, but just go off on a slight sidebar on that. Before we answer is, I believe we’re in for a big storm ahead that this and increased attack surface of people working from home, people being stressed, distracted, working with residential networks, everything else that is just feeding into those longer term plays the professional cyber criminals organized criminal element that are playing the longer game. I think we’re going to start paying for that early next year. On the little campaigns, they put in everything else like that, but what’s your view on it? If you had to give some advice to businesses at the moment?


Tony Sales  19:14

Test, test and train test and train test and train test and train? Yeah, because the more testing you’re doing, the more you’re learning about how you could be attacked Yeah. Then up scale that with the training and get that across to your whole your whole company. Now you can start to protect you know, it’s the computers are great, but as I’ve always said, it’s the human vulnerability that counts. And that’s where cyber comes into its own because someone like Solomon, socially engineering, yeah, he started writing apartments that’s so outrageous, yeah, they can only be from their own IT department and they’re asking for those things right. And now we’ll take over the whole bank network in one fell swoop and that’s petrifying to everyone And it’s all about education if they would have known stop, ask the questions. You know, the same things as what all the agencies recommend all the time, stop and take five minutes just to judge it, the same in personal life if something seems too good to be true, it genuinely is. Those same rules apply across the board mate.


Paul C Dwyer  20:19

I mean, you’re obviously a really engaging character, right? So you can persuade people face to face when you do that kind of stuff. Is it harder to be doing it over the phone and over emails? Is it? Are you adapting just like criminals do?


Tony Sales  20:33

Yeah, I mean, social engineering becomes part of any criminal. You learn it you know, as a kid, you learn it. Like why are you in here? You got caught nicking out of a shop. I wasn’t nicking, I was gonna pay for it like. Your brain just engages much quicker and you learn lots of excuses. Yeah, so you learn to just cut to the chase, give a load of what is effectively bullshit. Yeah, and get around what you need to get around and anyone nowadays where they’re on the phone, everyone still needs to earn money they all want commissions, marketing’s always outweighing loss prevention, like it always is. So as a criminal, I know that and understand that. So let them play that and sell whatever the product is that I’m actually trying to buy Anyway, let them sell it to me, and it’s always a much better fix.


Paul C Dwyer  21:19

Brilliant and and the you mentioned pen testing there. That’s that’s a development from you from the original sort of Tony about 8 years ago, you know, when you’re doing a lot of stuff from retail and, and the physical side of it. And you’ve been able to show that sort of hands into the wound of Jesus kind of stuff, where you were just showing these absolute examples to people of, of, you know, making credit cards and all that kind of stuff. But But you felt it necessary to get deeper into that world of pentesting as well. So you’re bringing this holistically together? Is that a fair assessment?


Tony Sales  21:48

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think it’s really important because the way that we… You know, most companies Paul, we break in 20 minutes, which is terrifying. Yeah. Like, it doesn’t take long once we know what to do. It doesn’t take long and the patterns are exactly the same. So once you know the patterns, everyone’s using those same patterns the way we go. If a company is using social media, to social media scouts to sort out all they are is this person, okay? Is this because it’s cheaper than the credit check? I’ll know that. I’ll just find someone on those nice and clean. There’s billions of databases out there. Yeah. Solomon taught me so much about the cyber world A made me realize, look, if you do this, Tony, yeah, and just mirror how you’re thinking, look, what you’ll understand in the cyber world. Soon as he done it I was like, whoa, whoa, look so I can do that. Yeah, you can do that, that, that and that. And now you’ve got like a, an attack vector, that when we target someone, we don’t lose, we still know. I was always doing the physical entry stuff by having Solomon now who says plug this in over there? Oh, yeah. Or just go and put your the HTML lead into the, into the staff room. Yeah, and I’ll take them over or I’ve hacked the Wi Fi for you, I’ve entered the access control panels and the doors open. I’ve switched off all the alarms. Being able to do that to most buildings to most things, you know, like on Valentine’s Day, I’ll send a parcel. I went and delivered it to a CEO, Paul, a bank, right. Solomon have made a device that as soon as it got there, it sent all the information from his phone to Solomon’s device. Yeah. So then once he was in, he’d no hashed passwords, away he went, and that was it, we just took over his life from Valentine’s Day all because we sent him a little bear, that he took home. And we’ve done the same at home. Yeah, we just, and it’s adding even those little criminal elements to what Solomon can do that makes us pretty dangerous.


Paul C Dwyer  23:46

Yeah. So it’s that synergy between the physical world and the cyber world be put together means that you’re just much more effective in the same way that the quote unquote real cyber criminals are operating in with cyber enabled crime and fraud as well. And they don’t operate in silos. So you’re not operating in silos makes total sense. And I’m intrigued by Tony. Going back to your history, I mean, where did this tagline come from? It’s almost a Frank Abagnale type about the 30 million in fraud and all that. I mean, is there going to be a movie about Tony Sales? Because I mean, is that the way it is gone?


Tony Sales  24:20

It’s a done deal mate, I’ve done it, I’ve done it, so I’ve done the deal. So actually, I met the writers of it last week for the first time. So BBC studios USA have commissioned debrid. And it’s, yeah, I mean, you know, I’ve been through a lot Paul, over life. You know, I was involved in organized crime with some of the, you know, of which I got organized criminals to talk about in the book. Yeah, I’ve not just set it myself. I’ve got them to say. Yeah, so, like, it’s kinda like they say, I’m the only one that will be trusted to go from their world into the world that I live in now. Because none of us want to see old lady losing their money, none of us want to see terror attacks that take out all of us and affect all of us know, the internet’s a beautiful place. It’s beautiful. It’s the most beautiful thing has been created in my lifetime. Yeah. And I think we will have to make a beautiful impact upon it and try and keep it safe. But all the older generations that are out there that can interact with something so beautiful, and the younger generations that are coming up that need to understand how dangerous it can be, but on the other side of how beautiful it can be and that’s what we’re all about.


Paul C Dwyer  25:33

Like it does your past is still impact or hinder your life or business development anyway, says BBC USA, but are you able to go over to the USA outside of COVID? And all that, were you able to go and promote your business in your life over there? Or is that something now that your history just won’t let go of?


Tony Sales  25:51

Well, I mean, history hasn’t yet got it. Yeah, you know, I’ve applied twice to enter the states have been refused on both occasions. And now I find it quite mad when you see the likes of Brett Johnson coming over here. But you know, I was serious, I was involved in a lot of serious things. I do have serious things on my record, you know, I was done firearms. I’ve been done for, you know, cannabis and stuff. And they haven’t been our days, which is mad considering that it’s legal in a lot of states in America. But, and obviously conspiracy to defraud. The last time that I went, they said that they didn’t believe me that that actually changed. I mean, I wouldn’t be putting my whole life out there for everyone to see, every day and risking, you know, I get a lot of death threats constantly. I don’t lose any sleep over them, by the way, but because I’ve lived that life read the book. Yeah.


Paul C Dwyer  26:48

So they are they other criminals who think that you’re making life difficult for them? Do they think you’re working with law enforcement? Do they think you’re a snitch. What do they think?


Paul C Dwyer  26:57

Pardon our interruption as we have a quick word from our sponsors.


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Tony Sales  27:47

Yeah, so I’ve had a bit of a snitching thing of which, you know, I kind of I address in the book, I think quite well. I’ve had, I’ve had, so it’s more it’s not people, it’s not other criminals as such. It’s more people that I know from my past that hate. Yeah, because they can’t look past what it is that they do.


Tony Sales  28:09

Yeah, they resent, yeah, but they don’t see the struggle of that success Paul, you know, they don’t see it for you know… a long time I didn’t make any money. You know, I didn’t, there was times I didn’t have anything, and, and I still kept winning and I still kept going. And I still kept going and speaking at lots of different events to try and get myself out there. And just because I know that what the messages that I’ve got are really important. And so I’ll always admit that those people will always be there. And they’ll always be fast to whatever. I mean, at the end of the day,


Paul C Dwyer  28:11

Do they resent you?


Paul C Dwyer  28:44

But you can’t worry about that.


Tony Sales  28:45

Yeah, I can’t worry about that now. Remember the stories you’ve told me about certain things? So what you’re going to do like there’s nothing you can do, you can’t worry about a is what it is.


Paul C Dwyer  28:55

Yeah, I mean, totally. I mean, look, I have a couple of a couple of fun questions if you like, to throw at you try and get get a bit more your personality across to people because I think that every time I talk to you, Tony was on a meet you are finding more credible, you are what you say you are, there’s no bullshit to ya, which is great. You’re an expert in your field. And when I met you, you were certainly you were doing things because you want to do them and you weren’t motivated by money or ego, which is is unusual. And I think that’s why you’re sustaining your tenacity is paying off. Well, you know, with the rewards that it seems that that are coming your way now, which is fantastic. But when people meet you, big personality, what’s the one thing they misunderstand about you?


Tony Sales  29:40

I mean, you know, they misunderstand what what the reasoning is like, you know, because they don’t learn. Yeah, when you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you don’t just end up criminal yeah. You can’t. It’s impossible. People from wealth. Don’t just end up in a criminal world doesn’t happen. Thats fact. Yeah. So addiction. Yeah, sexual abuse, all of this stuff happens. creates something, right? It’s not, it’s not creating, pushing the blame onto someone else because of I did this or I did that I accept fully my, my responsibility for the actions I’ve done yeah. But I also say, definitely what happened to me as a child molded me as a person. That environment is exactly what happened. Yeah, so people misjudged the trust sometimes, like Adam would say, that are more straight than most people will ever wish to be. Yeah, because I don’t want to ever put a foot wrong. You know, like some people even in the criminal world get wrong sometimes I’ll ask How could you do that? And I’m not totally illegal. I would never get involved in anything illegal ever again. I’m out fully. Yeah, it’s never going to be about money for me either. Because I’m doing it because just like I said, it’s my Nan and my Granddad because they’re not no more so as to protect one’s are here. And I will.


Paul C Dwyer  31:09

Yeah, so I mean, how would How would your, how would Zack, describe what you do for a living now? Because you’ve so many lives?


Tony Sales  31:19

He’d laugh, he’d laugh. Yeah, I mean, I can try and just like as a criminal, you know, I kept my business away from the kids in that way. I’m dad when I’m at home, I want to be dad. I mean, the proudest moment actually come from me. I finished a book one day, and then my son The next day, went to university, I’ve got to take him to university. Yeah. His first choice uni as well and go in like. That’s kind of an amazing achievement. And so they laugh at me, Paul, they think it’s funny. They think that like, Who’s their dad? Why, cuz people are people interested in it. And I like that. I want them to think. about that, so it’s good


Paul C Dwyer  31:59

Yeah, no, no, listen. as dads go, your one of the cooler ones. You know what I mean?


Paul C Dwyer  32:06

If you had if you were able to vote, one billboard out there now if the moment in the middle of Piccadilly Circus or whatever, and it had a message on it, what would that message be? Based on the times we find ourselves in COVID? racism, people can’t trust what they read, or hear on news, everything else. If Tony sales had one message to put out there, what would it be?


Tony Sales  32:30

Division divides, everyone.


Paul C Dwyer  32:34

That’s what exactly Yes. What’s been stoked up, isn’t it?


Tony Sales  32:36

I’m human, I’m human.


Paul C Dwyer  32:40

And the few other things we’ll be thinking about, but along the lines, I mean, when what’s the target for Tony? When is enough, enough? You’ve got that tenacity, and you’ve got entrepreneurial spirit. So the problem is you keep going to the you fizzle out, or is there targets? Is there a milestone? Is that effectively? You know, most people in the career will say, I want to get to this level in the corporate Empire. And then when I get there, I’ll be happy enough when I retire and all that. But for people like you and me, for people that are entrepreneurs that are creative, that will just keep following passion. Look, Where is it? Where is the end? for Tony, when you feel that? Yeah, I’ve done it, because a lot of this right, and I think but people with similar backgrounds for ourselves, and so will often start on the backfoot. And almost an insecurity drives you as well that you don’t think you’re good enough, and you’ll just keep trying harder and harder and harder and keep pushing ahead to do those things. Yeah, but there has to be something where Tony, Pat himself on the back and goes, Yeah, I’ve definitely had my own milestones, like,


Paul C Dwyer  33:42

What are those personal things for you?


Tony Sales  33:45

I mean, I’m kind of I want to I want to do like a university for kids like me. Yeah, it’s like, been a passion for a while. So you know, again, in the book, I’ll leave some of it for for what I didn’t do when I was a criminal. And because some of it had to start back then when there was bigger amounts of money to start other stuff that other people would have done. And I think there is luck in that I don’t get… if I would have got a set of understanding or needed as a child, I probably wouldn’t have had the insecurities that I had, that led me into a place that wasn’t really well wanted to be. And I still have, I still would have had a great brain entrepreneurial wise, because I’ve always been that type of kid looking for the next buck. But maybe if I would have had a chance of learning something I might have been able to be, you know, tech designer or an architect of some sort or you know, who knows what, where you could live or where I could have gone so


Paul C Dwyer  34:56

Tony, would you go in and if you’re into music, I know you’re a big film buff. I mean, we and you also get a kick out of this stuff you’re doing around the movies and stuff. Would you go to college and get a qualification? Now, do you think that would fill something in in your own mind that you think you’re missing out on? Or do people that don’t get a chance to go to college? And I’m one of those people. I never went to college. Do it? Is it just something that you’re always going to deal with that you think for some reason? There’s something missing?


Tony Sales  35:25

Yeah, I think that’s all I think, yeah, I think that’s ultimately what it is mate.


Paul C Dwyer  35:28

… I can say it like but you know, maybe strength is a weakness to strength, I suppose what I’m trying to get at is you started behind the block, that you’re just trying harder all the time and doing more things.


Tony Sales  35:42



Tony Sales  35:42

I understand it. Its a, you know, as a skill as a gift, I get told all the time, it’s a really good gift to think that you’re delighted. You realize what you’re doing? Do you realize how far you’ve come? A lot of people always say it, but I was behind like you said for so long. You’re You’re so rightful. Yeah, cuz it’s so true. But now running like. And you’re gonna catch up? Because I’m going to start sprinting soon. Yeah.


Paul C Dwyer  36:08

where’s where’s the finish line? Tony. Because and I don’t mean finishes, and you’re done in the race. But I mean, will you say to yourself, okay, this is enough, right? I I’ve definitely got somewhere ahead of my peer group, half of them are dead or in prison. You know, and the others are not quite the same as they used to be because of the effects of that life had. I’m Tony, I buillt a new life. I’m now successful, that’s not going to be number in a bank account for you. That’s not going to be a job title. What’s it going to be? Is it when somebody recognizes you? Or somebody says something? What’s it going to be where you go? I’ve done it now.


Tony Sales  36:41

Yeah, no, I mean, I spend most of my time trying not to be recognized. I kind of changed my appearance quite a bit. I think it’ll I don’t know, I’ve still not worked out Paul yeah, to be honest, I was never gonna be able to switch off. I’m not laying in bed at night thinking, Oh, I need to do that. I need to do that. And there’s so much that I want to do. Yeah, and I’m really good at focusing my attention on individual parts while go along. And this keeps growing.


Paul C Dwyer  37:10

And you mentioned ADHD, that I mean, when were you diagnosed with that? I mean, is that something that the team around you helps you focus on things? Or? Or how does that affect your everyday working life with the team?


Tony Sales  37:20

So I was never diagnosed, and it came out? So we made a program and under Walker, what makes a murderer? Well, we got to know we had some really high level experts, we had the world’s leading expert in neuro criminology on the show. And you know, from conversations, you can tell that I was a hyper kid. They asked you loads of questions, I was sent to see a psychiatrist when I was a kid. Because I would just in lessons, I would go really quiet. I didn’t want to talk about domestic violence going on at home. But I’m not going to tell them that because I’m aware that the care system and there’s loads of other stuff going on around so they you know, it was Victor….Dr. Vicki Ducia said to me that. You know you’ve got ADHD? And I said, Yeah, no, I kind of knew that anyway. It wasn’t. Yeah, I mean, most mornings, at four o’clock riding around my kitchen charged. Let’s go, let’s go. And I’ve done. I’ve done six, seven hours work by the time I’m cut, then go into the gym for a couple of hours. And then I’ll come into the office in the afternoon till six, seven at night, and then go off to see someone else on the way home and then get indoors finally for nine o’clock bed by 10. And then back out to do it all again the next day. So I enjoy it.


Paul C Dwyer  38:39

And look you’re the glass half full kind of guy, you’re full of energy and optimism. But do you get disappointed you get sad? Do you get depressed when things don’t go your way? What’s the last thing that’s failed for you? And why did it fail? I mean, because you spent lots of plates and surely they don’t all come to success. So how do you deal with failure?


Tony Sales  38:59

You know, I don’t care about I’m not bothered by it doesn’t lie. I’ve been through so much failure in my life. Yeah, I think that’s what a unique skill of fraudsters seem to have, you get rejected quite a bit. So you learn to deal with the rejection. My mum rejected me. I’m alright with it. Okay, fair enough. I didn’t work but at least I’ve got least I’ve got enough in me to get back up and try again. And it’s that bit that I think people will admire is that you know, to get up and go, yeah, it’s never gonna go literally.


Paul C Dwyer  39:34

Yeah, that’s brilliant. And look,


Paul C Dwyer  39:36

if you were to if you were to take advantage of all of these sort of like, I keep an eye on what obviously what’s going on the UK and the US everywhere else, whatever. But they sort of sporadic lockdowns and the more time that we have it at home and in our offices, so if you’d like to focus on things, is there any Is there anything that you’re, you’re working on in your own mind a new skill that you’re trying to learn. Are you trying to learn a language? Or are you developing something new? Have you set yourselves any challenges during this cold?


Tony Sales  40:07

Yeah. So you know, I’ve been in prison in the past lockdown, proper lockdown. I got fit, I got really healthy. Both prison sentences that I’ve served, I came out of jail quiet defined, you know. So I’ve got back in the gym, shoulders a lot, kind of hinged now a little bit. I’ve been working out and I’m dedicated… I’ll get up and cook fish in the morning. Set things I’m eating really healthily. So it’s kind of I’ve set for myself.


Paul C Dwyer  40:44

No, but you’re looking the part to me, definitely a you know, you can see the impact from the last few times. I mean, mean, you’re in the Harry lemon, talking about all things around this piece. You know, as we as we conclude the interview, Tony, as I say, Look, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, you’re one of the people that I looked in the industry, is that a real deal? You’re the credible guy, you’ve walked the walk. And it’s not easy doing what you do. It’s not easy, not being part of a big corporation, it’s not easy getting attention. And when your mission is not the normal mission, you don’t fit into a pigeonhole of the services you sell or what you’re doing. So you’re sort of you’re breaking new ground all the time. So I tip my hat to you on all that sort of stuff because I can take you to the the pain and how unusual that is. And it takes huge tenacity and I hope huge success has come your way with the movie and everything else like that. I really, really do because you think people for what you’re doing mate. And you know, at this point, like I’m sort of doing these podcasts as a new way for us to reach out to people let them know we’re still there what we’re doing with ICTTF and everything else like that. So I’m having a bit of fun with them as well. And I’m sort of, you know, comb this section of it what I’m going to call turn the tables, turn the tables. Just ask me question.


Tony Sales  42:00

Okay, so


Paul C Dwyer  42:02



Tony Sales  42:03

This quite good actually.


Tony Sales  42:04



Paul C Dwyer  42:10

Be gentle,


Tony Sales  42:13

Oh, Paul, no I can’t put you on the spot


Paul C Dwyer  42:16

Ahh go for it!


Tony Sales  42:21

What I’d love to hear from you, you told me a story once yeah, about the satellites with your daughter I think that’s like one of the best stories I’ve ever heard about like looking and spying on your daughter because as a father.


Paul C Dwyer  42:34



Paul C Dwyer  42:34

See now your are gonna me in trouble….hahaha


Tony Sales  42:34

You said go for it!…hahaha


Paul C Dwyer  42:35

We’ll leave out the satilite stories….hahaha


Tony Sales  42:35



Paul C Dwyer  42:36

We’ll leave it out


Tony Sales  42:48



Paul C Dwyer  42:48

Listen, you’re gonna have to ask me so different or I’ll end up real trouble…hahaha. To the benefit of a young teenage girl had gone out with her first boyfriend. And I was in Corsham in a military base and was quite concerned about my daughter. So I’ll leave the rest of your imagination.


Tony Sales  43:07



Paul C Dwyer  43:08

Just making sure everything was ok and what was going on, but there was some other shenanigans we had going on around satellites as well. was around some of the activity was going on around the Japanese whaling fleet. And we were able to provide assistance, information education to people to tell them how to disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet for their illegal activity and killing whales. So they, their satellite phones all stopped working on. Theres probably a whole portfolio of these Satilites we can talk about we’ll finish the podcast off in the hairy lemon. We could do a whole series of these, Tony, you know.


Tony Sales  43:46

Yeah, definitely they sound good.


Paul C Dwyer  43:49

But listen, I wish you continued success. My friend, I cannot wait to read your book in full. I hopefully we peppered along there enough interest for people as well. As a social engineer. You know, people always talking about the Kevin Mitnicks but this is Tony Sales that people talk about the Frank Abagnale. Now, you’re up there and all of that sort of international leading people in the professionals of what you do.


Tony Sales  44:13



Paul C Dwyer  44:14

With the services you’re now providing. And I get the piece that you’re beyond squeaky clean now. And I would say that anyone who’s listening because I’ve worked with it, and I know that it’s always something in here to be with him, but but he still knows gangsters. And he still does this. And he still does that. Like how can we possibly pay someone who has done this when you paid your price to society, you’re still paying a price. You can’t even go to the states and build your business like you can travel you’ve got restrictions. And I think that the very fact that you acknowledge your journey and where you got, has meant that as you go have to be purer than pure, which certainly with all the big name companies you’re working with, they will which is which is fantastic. And I wish you and your team and all the projects are doing continued success. Tony and I hope mate, genuine and we meet up pretty soon for a decent face to face masks or no masks.


Tony Sales  45:04

Definitely mate. I’ve missed you man, your like. I love what you’re doing Paul, I think it’s great at what you doing, man. Like you was one of the first I that I ever saw, theres a lot of guys coming onto the circuit now, but none of them ever talk like you mate, ever.


Paul C Dwyer  45:16

Ah cheers buddy.


Tony Sales  45:17

 You always said stuff that’s out there. like. It’s great.


Paul C Dwyer  45:21

I mean, I think what we’re doing is a lonely mission. Sometimes when you’re trying to educate people, and they almost think what is that stuff real and all that but as time goes on, I think certainly you’ve placed there been a trailblazer around things like retail fraud loss prevention, what goes on in the retail stuff. I mean, you own that I mean, all of that sort of area people will see you and go wow, this isn’t something someone’s going to learn in a book or or or you know, they’re gonna pick up on they have to deal with real people have said this even about pen testing and this you know, we have people with purple Mohawks in law enforcement, you’re not gonna stand cybercrime I mean, law is you’ve got to deal with it, the people will understand the topic and understand the knowledge and understand that the technology and everything else involved of what’s going on. And certainly you’ve become that really positive conduit between communicating the, the risks and threats that exist in the cyber crime world and the cybercrime enabled world and being able to push that over the line so that people will work with for good, whether it’s law enforcement, or anybody else can use that information to protect not just the grannies, as you say, online but all of us kids, yeah, against everything against terrorism, everything else like that. So I salute you for that, my friend. And I thank you again for your time today. It was really, really good. Thank you to read your book, what’s the name of your book again,


Tony Sales  46:39

It’s called The Big Con, and it’s on the third of December,


Paul C Dwyer  46:42

The Big Con and they could find more on


Tony Sales  46:46

If you just Google Tony Sales and add The Big Con, under the google word, it’ll come up all over the place.


Paul C Dwyer  46:50

Cool, because I found a musician today called Tony sales when I was looking for you.


Tony Sales  46:54

Tony Fox Sales. He is indeed. He was actually David Bowie’s guitarist.


Paul C Dwyer  46:59

Well, I was looking at to make sure it wasn’t you my friend.


Tony Sales  47:02

Well, you never know.


Paul C Dwyer  47:06



Tony Sales  47:06



Paul C Dwyer  47:07

Cheers my friend, Take care yourself.


Tony Sales  47:08

All right. Its great to talk to you. Thanks, man.


Paul C Dwyer  47:15

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Ad Speaker 1  47:36

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