CHRISTMAS shoppers were shown how card scams work in a bid to discourage street gambling.

Following a successful display earlier this year, magician Emmanuele Faja was invited back to Walthamstow town square last week to demonstrate common scams, such as ‘chase the lady’, and to show how hard it is to win money from a street gambler.

The event was part of the council’s Crime Prevention Week.

Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet member for community safety, enforcement and protection, Cllr Afzal Akram, said: “Shoppers should be under no illusions, they simply cannot win these games, that is why we’re using a magician to demonstrate that stark reality."

In the past 12 months the council claims it has has caught five organised street gambling gangs and issued three ASBOs against street gamblers in Walthamstow.