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Fake gold ring scam

While in Paris we were approached twice by 2 different women claiming to have found a man's gold ring right at our feet. The scam works like this: as you're walking a woman approaches from the side and bends down in front of you. You don't notice but she has a man's gold ring on the end of her thumb which she drops just in front of you. At the same time she picks the ring back up, in your sight, and exclaims how lucky she was to find a gold ring. If you stop, she will try to sell you the ring, she has no use for a man's ring but could use a few Euros.
One of the 2 women who tried this scam actually tried it on us twice! We got a picture of the second woman but no place to post it.
Think about it. You're walking in an area where lots of tourists are or have been walking. What are the odds that someone dropped a solid gold ring and no one looked for it or that it just happened to be at you feet?????

Posted by
15625 posts

The ring scam has been a Paris fixture for years. If you don't see it twice, you're not really walking around.

Posted by
8293 posts

I think this gold ring scam persists exactly because tourists continue to fall for it. They are delighted to fall for it. They think they, the tourists, are actually scamming the scammer! "Aha" says the guy with his wife and kids on the Champs Élysées. "I can give this dumb looking woman a couple of euro and I will have a gold ring! Clever me." Why else would anyone pay for a "gold" ring supposedly just picked up from the sidewalk? Both the scammer and the scammee are looking to make a few bucks ...... I mean euro. No sympathy here. Sorry.

Posted by
23 posts

Norma, you're exactly right. These type of scams work because there's a little greed or larceny in the heart of the victim.

Posted by
11707 posts

Yep, this scam has been around since Hector was a pup.

Posted by
1296 posts

The only thing stupider to fall for along the Champs Elysee are the scams going on in the shops and restaurants.
At the risk of repeating myself, spending 20 minutes along that street is 15 minutes too much.

Posted by
1043 posts

I had that scam pulled on me. I thanked her for giving it to me and started walking away with it. You should have seen her come after me. In retrospect, it was probably a dumb thing to do as she might of had friends. She would not leave me alone so I put it on the ground and left. About 8 years later I saw the same lady on a video pulling the same scam. I wonder how much she gets in a day?

Posted by
31055 posts

The ring scam has been around for a long time. It's surprising that people continue to fall for it. One of the other common scams is the "friendship bracelet" which they're supposedly giving the tourist but of course they expect a "donation".

Posted by
1117 posts

We were in Paris many years ago (I was still using a film camera) and saw the bracelet scam but not the ring drop.

Posted by
3346 posts

Norma makes a very good point. As someone once said "It's hard to con an honest person".

Posted by
518 posts

Just ask yourself, would you fall for this same scam back home? If not, then why would you fall for it there? At the same time, here in San Francisco there are tons of other scams. I was once approached by a lady wearing a "police" badge and police hat. She was obviously not a police officer but her getup warranted a bit of awareness that she had some sort of job to do. She approached me and jokingly said she was issuing me a citation for not smiling and that she was the happiness officer or something like that....basically, she was asking for a few bucks for this souvenir "citation."

Posted by
12137 posts

I've only had that gold ring encounter/scam happen once...a few years ago while waiting for the light to change across the street from the D"Orsay Museum. That's in all the trips to Paris. It was a kid who pulled that, picks up the ring, so it seems, shows it to me, he mutters something. I looked at him with the "so, what do you want me to do with it?" look. He left, I could tell he was ticked off and frustrated.

Posted by
11613 posts

Saw this in Paris twice in five days.

Posted by
703 posts

We were in Paris for 10 nights.

On our first morning, we walked towards Pont Alma to buy metro tickets. Me my 70 year old mom and my hubby. While I was looking at the machine, my mom walks up to me holding a ring. I said "Where did you get that?" She said that lady there handed it to me and I took it.....I'm not going to give her anything ...we had been there all of 1 minute on our first day. I said " Give that back. " my Mom was laughing and she tossed it to the woman.....leave it to my mom to try to scan the scammer.

On our last day while wasn't towards the bateau mouche (during the 3 days of mourning after the attacks in November) and it happened again to my husband and he laughed at them.....leaned on a railing waiting for us to catch up and WATCHED them till they left.

Side note......UGLIEST RING EVER was used in this scam. Obviously cheap and too ugly to be worth much.

Posted by
15625 posts

Laughing over this at breakfast in Paris where we saw it twice in one day. Friend at the next table held up his hand, "Look what I got!" "You didn't fall for that!" "Nah, I just pretended I could't get it off my finger after she put it on it. Then I gave her a euro coin, and when she started squawking, I said lets go find a policeman to settle this and she disappeared."

Next day at the airport I asked where the ring was. "I had to take it off. My finger started turning green."

Posted by
5379 posts

Five times in two hours -- near Arc de Triomphe and at Place de Concorde. We thought it was the refrain from the Christmas carol "five go-old rings"

Posted by
3841 posts

Three trips to Paris and not yet have the ring scam pulled on me or seen it - but we did meet a Canadian couple at Versailles who fell for it (meanwhile, I'm shaking my head)...

Posted by
1976 posts

I've been to Paris 3 times and each time looked out for the ring scam. It never happened. I encountered the petition girls a couple times, and once I was scammed at Gare du Nord by a German-accented guy in a suit who said he needed a few euros to make a phone call. I haven't heard about the ring scam for a while and wondered if they were still doing it.