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Can you help me rent a bike?

This appeal was new to us.

A well--dressed young lady on the Promenade des Anglais asked if we could help her operate the Velo Bleu bike rental. She claimed to not speak French and wanted to rent a bike. We were suspicious, but offered to help anyway. I pointed out that she could call the number on the station and she claimed to not be able to call the local numbers. Then I pointed out that she could use a credit card and she said she didn't have one. (How anyone thinks they will rent a bike without a credit card is beyond me.)

Then came her pitch: "I don't have a card. But if you will use your card, I will give you cash."

For those who may not be familiar with bike rental programs:
* any overage on the rental period is charged to your card.
* where we used to live, if you failed to return the bike, your card was charged $1200. (This was for a regular human-powered bike, not an e-bike.)
* liability for any damage or injury resulting from the bike rental falls on the cardholder who rented the bike.

In summary, if we'd fallen for her pitch, we'd have effectively been buying her a bike. And accepting liability and responsibility.

Posted by
1810 posts

The creativity of crooks always amaze me. If they only could use that creativity in a legal manner they could make much more money without the risk of punishment. Good post for those who would try to help this person. Way to be on your toes!!!

Posted by
7468 posts

Wow, thank you for sharing! I wouldn’t have been taken by her, either, because I always store my credit card in my money belt and just use cash during the day. But, this is a good reminder to be aware of new ways of losing our money!