I watched a 2014 version of the TV show Scam City last night, and this episode was covering Paris. A few interesting points revealed in the program (which many in the group here are probably familiar with).....
- The host visited art stores to Montmarte and bought a painting. He was assured repeatedly that it was made by a French Painter in Rennes and was an "authentic" French product. He took the painting to an art dealer who informed him that without any doubt whatsovever, the painting was actually made in China (there are apparently some telltale signs of that). When he returned to the store to confront them, it got nasty.
- The host allowed himself to be taken by the "friendship bracelet" scam, and the seller (who was from Ghana) assured him that it would help his "love life". (and of course he wanted a payment for the supposed benefits the piece of string would provide).
- He teamed up with a famous local pickpocket named "Chistoph" so that he could film the pickpocket at work in the Louvre. He finally found a "mark" in front of the information desk (a young woman) and with a distraction was able to lift her wallet. The host of the show later returned it to her. The pickpocket insisted that his activity was not crime but "art".
- The host observed a number of "Three Card Monty / Shell Game" scams operating in Montmarte. These guys wanted as much as €50 for people to play the game and they said they can make about €3K per day per team. They said there are as many as 10 in a team, and there could be six or more teams working a particular area. The people operating these scams were from Romania.
- In watching the various street scenes, it appeared there was an increased police presence in many areas.
- The final scam covered in the show was the "pick-up artists" that target lone female travellers. The host of the show enlisted the aid of a female employee and she was approached by one of these guys and a "date" was arranged. However, the pick-up artist got a rude awakening when the date turned out to be the host of the show. The PU artist was later wired with a camera so that they could observe him in action, and within 90 seconds he had received an offer from a Parisian girl to buy him a drink.
I realize that the show is made mainly for entertainment and all may not be as its portrayed. The "Prague" episode of this show apparently wasn't entirely factual. However, it provided an interesting and entertaining look at some of the scams I'm aware of from travelling in Paris.