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The Streets of Paris are Lined with Gold....Rings that is.....

Just a quick heads up to those of you heading off to Paris. The latest scam starts off with a man or woman walking towards you. They will dip down about 10 yards in front of you and come up with a large gold ring and start to ask you if you lost it. A friend who was with us on a wine tour mentioned getting hit up with it in Paris and we got hit twice in the FIRST TEN MINUTES when we were walking down the Seine. If you are carrying a camera, stopping to take pictures every step, and carrying a guide book then DUH... you look like a tourist and you will get hit up by this group. We walked down both sides of Seine and one side was ripe with these con artists and the other side we didn't see even one. We just told them to get lost and they did. A couple of suggestions, carry a walking stick or umbrella, keep your camera under your coat, carry the guide book in a paper bag or in a pocket and have someone watch your back when you are taking pictures. The other scam was to have a poor, sad eyed woman walk through the crowds, picking out Americans and asking "does anyone speak English?". They hold up a post card asking for help and probably have an assistant to watch where your money is stashed. Ignore them or tell them to get lost and they will. We saw hordes of them at the Effiel Tower.

I would love to hear how the gold ring thing works, but we never gave them the chance to play it out.

Other than that, we had no problems. The money belt thing is convenient if one of you can get to it between layers.

Posted by
234 posts

We had the same things tried on us in Paris. You are right. Just ignore them and keep on walking.
We had no problems and Paris is wonderful.

Posted by
39 posts

Same thing happened to me in Nice, France in August. I almost fell for it, but luckily my husband had done his research and knew it was a scam. The woman who approached us was alone, young and dressed like a tourist.

Posted by
104 posts

We were approached only once in Paris in front of Notre Dame by a poor, sad-eyed gypsy girl holding up the postcard with English writing. But also beware of the men trying to "give" you a friendship bracelet at Sacre Couer - they are VERY aggressive and then will try to get money from you once they tie a bracelet onto your wrist.

Posted by
808 posts

This scam is throughout Europe. It's not just a Paris thing.
They all must have graduated from the same "School of Scammery"...
Thanks for posting that, Jan. I'm sure many of us were not yet aware. Did you post this on the Grafitti Wall as well?
It might be seen by more of us there...

Safe Travels,

Posted by
9363 posts

This scam is talked about in the most recent Rick Steves travel newsletter that comes in the mail, so I'm sure it's on the site in other locations, too.