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Visitors to Paris, please be aware of these scams. Its simply begging in a clever form and should be discouraged.
The 1st scam goes like this:
As you are walking or taking photographs, a person will suddenly bend down near to you and appear to "find" a gold ring. He/she will look at it and if they know that you have noticed, they will immediately point to the hallmark which says "18k" on the inside of the ring. The hallmark is fake. They will then say to you in French something along the lines of "That was lucky".
After a few minutes talking they will then offer you the ring and proceed to walk away. They will then come back to you and say that they are hungry and need 5 Euros to buy a sandwich. Your train of thought will be "Hey, this person just handed over a gold ring they found, what's a few Euros?"
The result is that you end up 5 Euros lighter and only a piece of brass to show for it. Save yourself the bother and simply do not entertain these con artists. This practice is rife in Paris. The areas concerned are between the bridge near to the Eiffel Tower down to the Pont Nuef and all along the upper riversides and bridges along the way. Another option is to tell them you only have 50 cents and give that to them. You now have a 50 cent souvenir.
The 2nd scam goes like this:
At the metro station a person will approach you with a badge they pull out from within their coat trying to make them look official. They will ask you how long you will be in Paris and proceed to enter information into the ticket screen in French very quickly. Whatever you tell them they will either buy a different cheaper ticket or bogus ticket and tell you to pay them. Avoid them completely. Use the ticket screen yourself in your native language or go to a ticket teller behind glass. Also, the 10-book of tickets is usually cheaper than the one or two day pass depending on how many metro trips you plan on taking.
The 3rd scam goes like this:
A person will approach you with a clip board with some fake petition with signatures from people from foreign countries (i.e. USA). They will get very close and ask you to sign but as they talk and you sign they will be going through your pockets. Keep distance between them, stay away from them, and even keep your valuables in harder to reach places or keep your hands in those pockets with valuables.
The 4th scam goes like this:
A person will approach you with a bracelet and seem to try and tie it on your wrist. Refuse and don't let them get close. They will demand payment from you if they give it to you.
The 5th scam goes like this:
When sitting at a café, most often when seating outside, someone will come to you with a big paper map to ask you a question about getting directions to some random place. You can be sure that after you're done talking, all the valuables on the table and around are gone. This is a very popular trick to steal phone from locals and travelers.
For more resources about tourist scams: