Visitors to London's tourist hotspots may be pleasantly surprised if they are targeted by a put-pocket this summer.
A team of 20 ex-pickpockets are secretly putting between £5 and £20 into the pockets and handbags of the unwary in London locations, including Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, as well as on the Tube network.
Broadband provider TalkTalk is behind the stunt. Mark Schmid of TalkTalk said: "With so many scams out there, Britons have become very sceptical of companies giving money away - so we have turned to put-pocketing to give something back."
Former pickpocket and now put-pocket, Chris Fitch, said: "Every time I put money back in someone's pocket I feel less guilty about the fact I spent many years taking it out."
The team has been briefed to avoid people who look well-off, TalkTalk said.
They are also given a specific ID to show to public if caught in the act, and have plain-clothed minders who will intervene to calm and explain the situation if spotted.
Signs that proclaim 'Rejoice! Put pockets operating in this area' are in place to alert the public to the possibility they could be targeted, TalkTalk added.
The put-pocketing initiative has been piloted in London since July 1st, and will continue until the end of August before being rolled out nationwide to major UK cities.