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Paris Scams

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posts: 32
reviews: 9
Paris Scams

Hi there

Just got back from Paris and just thought I would let potential visitors about current scams

One is that men will approach you and ask where you are from etc being really friendly and attempt to give you a necklace or bracelet, but once these are attached to you it is a sign for people else where to target you.

They do this to the people who look like they will be carrying a lot of money so for example people who walk around with huge cameras or really big rings/watches and once you have this bracelet/necklace it's a sign for others to try steal from you.

Another is when you are walking on a bridge a man/woman will be walking and will bend down to pick something up. This is a gold ring which is heavy and stamped as though it is an 18ct gold ring and they pretend to be confused and offer you the ring as if you had just dropped it. Then they follow you continuously if you accept the ring and demand payment for them finding it.

There are obviously loads more and pick pockets etc so just be careful.

70 replies to this topic
posts: 21,005
reviews: 71
1. Re: Paris Scams

Yep, loads more scams, and loads more threads!

But a reminder never hurts.....

Los Angeles...
posts: 720
reviews: 132
2. Re: Paris Scams

Those aren't current scams, but have been around for quite a while. Visitors should just ignore them and move on.

posts: 7,633
3. Re: Paris Scams

I never thought of the bracelet scam as being a tag so other scammers could say "oh, he's got a string bracelet around his wrist, he must be gullible and inexperienced, let's hit him with the deaf girl petition, the three card monte trick and sell him a child Metro ticket for €50......and while we are at it throw a bit of bird poo on his back, offer to wipe it off for him and steal his wallet at the same time".

Lords Valley...
posts: 1,488
reviews: 1
4. Re: Paris Scams

Sounds like a major conspiracy plot to me. Once a necklace or bracelet is attached to you it is a sign for people elsewhere to target you? Sounds reasonable to me.

posts: 32
reviews: 9
5. Re: Paris Scams

Yeah they do the same thing in Rome. Offer you a free necklace or bracelet and then other people know you are carrying a lot of money/ valuable items

Lisbon, Portugal
posts: 469
6. Re: Paris Scams

When I stepped down the hill from Sacré Coeur a man came walking into me with a sort of a thread in the form of a loop or so. I thought he would attatch it to my camera and grab it away from me. Do you know what I'm talking about? What's their purpose? Another one was a Roma girl wanting me to answer her an inquiry just under passage Richelieu at the Louvre. I could count another two attempts to rob me...

Edited: 4:48 pm, June 01, 2013
New York City, New...
posts: 1,969
reviews: 41
7. Re: Paris Scams

Ricardo, I wouldn't necessarily consider those attempts to rob you but scam you out of a few €. The bracelet guys put one around your wrist and then try to get you to pay them for it. You are correct that they can become somewhat aggressive.

The petition girls want you to sign their forms and if you do they tell you that you agreed to pay them which of course is ridiculous. There is no reason a foreign visitor should sign a petition and these girls are not aggressive so if you see them, walk away.

To me, robbing is when someone forcibly takes your money or other belongings which is something that seems to be extremely rare in Paris. I spent a year studying there and have been back many times and have never been a victim of crime.

Paris, France
posts: 1,391
8. Re: Paris Scams

I just had a discussion with someone about scams, and we realized that we are also targeted by scams in everyday life - not just as tourists. It's just that we are so used to them that we can brush them off almost without noticing.

Have you not received an email recently, offering you to help a widow getting her late husband's money out of an african country? or maybe someone suffering from a fatal illness wants you to be their heir, provided you send a sum for smoothing things out ? Are you selling your car ? someone wants to buy, but they're in a foreign country, and need it shipped, here's a nice bad check please pay the shipping via Western Union; someone told me that someone told him that you can buy gold coins at half the market price - meet him in the street, give him cash, and you'll get real gold coins-or maybe lead and paint ; in the mail there's another credit card offer, promising easy money for almost nothing per month - unless you read the fine print...

All this happens almost daily, and yet we don't complain much, because we're used to it and know common sense is enough to avoid getting caught.

And yet they find daily unaware gullible targets.

Last one I heard : this guy can sell you used discarded bank notes that have been covered in black ink by the national bank to make them useless; but! look! give him one 50€ bill and with his special soap and powder he can give you three bills back! Interested ? he has plenty black bills to spare, and soap to sell, but remember he needs your good ones to put the real colors back on the others...

Touristy scams seem more agressive to tourists because they've never seen them before. I can pass in front of a string man, ring girl, or three cards monte guy without feeling threatened because I know what it's about.

I even know which trees to avoid so as not to get pigeon sh*t on me, and haven't stepped in dog poo in ages - though I confess it's there on the sidewalk.

posts: 209
reviews: 31
9. Re: Paris Scams

We just got back from our Paris/Alsace/Normandy trip; we were almost disappointed that the only scam that was attempted on us was the petition (twice). No gold ring ploy, no bracelet trick. We did see plenty of people begging though.

San Diego...
posts: 14,054
10. Re: Paris Scams

Sonny - it's too bad that you didnt read the multiple threads on these scams here on TA before your trip.

I hope you didn't let anyone tie a string on you or accept the gold ring from anyone and that only observed it happening. No one should accept a ring found on the street that doesn't belong to them in the first place.

I have to say I don't understand the idea that if you let someone tie a string on you it makes you a mark and that you are somehow rich and carrying a lot of cash or whatever. I always just heard that they tied the string on you and then demanded that you pay for it.

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