France, especially Paris is the most preferred destination for any traveler on the planet. Regrettably, with a fascinating history, magnificent cuisine, unique culture, lush countryside, stunning architecture, enviable shopping, and style, crafty-scam artists are looking out for easy preys. Bear in mind that, like all things French, the charming attitude is apparent in the con artists, as well. Thus, it is best you stay aware of the tourist traps. However, these scams are not any means to put you off from visiting the fabulous City Of Lights. It does help to bear in mind that you are only a visitor in visiting Paris, and you would be the biggest target that scammers would prey on.
Here are a few top scams that tourists should not fall prey to:
Gold or Silver Ring Scam
This is a widespread scam practiced along the Seine around the bridges in Paris.
- A woman or a man leave a ring on the sidewalk, while they keep waiting in a corner for anyone to notice and pick the ring. The moment anyone picks the ring, they will appear immediately. They will allow you to keep the ring saying it is ‘Good Luck’ and will in return demand money. Actually, it is a fake ring, but it will have the gold mark stamped.
- The most straightforward way is to decline and to walk away from that place. This scam is done with anything valuable; it may be a ring or any other piece of jewelry.
The String Trick
- A group of women and men stand in a group. They give you a bracelet, and it will seem like they are doing this out of generosity. The moment you have this bracelet fastened tightly to your wrist, you are trapped. You can get out of the area only if you pay them an appropriate fee. The truth is that it is not a bracelet, but just a string that is tied around your hand or even your finger. This act is scary as they literally grab you by your arm and tie the string or so-called bracelet tightly, also before you realize it, and they start demanding money.
- The best way is to walk away from that place quickly by refusing and pulling away from the string or bracelet from your hand.
This scam is common around Notre-Dame areas.
- The standard practice in this scam is that a child, an adolescent or a young woman approaches you asking to sign a petition. In fact, the paper will have signatures already, and it will appear to be for some good cause. On signing the piece of paper, the scammer demands money from you. Remember, this time the amount is a considerable amount on the pretext that the amount will be reaching a charity.
- The only way out is to say ‘No.’ Also, remember you should not sign any paper and if they persist, just walk away.
Useful Tip: Always stay alert and watch out for dubious characters. The best solution is not to make yourself look like an easy target.