Thursday, August 2, 2012

BEWARE of the Paris gypsy scams

If you've been to Paris you have probably been warned about the "gypsies". When we were there in 2010 they were everywhere. I knew about pickpockets so had all my valuables in a special "non pickpocket" travel vest which I paid a pretty penny for at Edwards Luggage. I thought I was set!

But, I wasn't prepared for....

The Gold Ring Scam

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Every tourist knows about the "gold ring" scam but the scamers keep trying... - scammer picks up a "gold" wedding band from the sidewalk (that they placed there), then offers it to you at a bargain. It's worthless sure but a very realistic "gold" ring.

When you say you don't want it, they put it on your finger and say "you keep it.  Then they follow you wherever you are going and pester you for money.

I fell for this one until my boyfriend said "give it back to her" Which I did immediately. Of course they still followed us trying to bargain for the ring. I really felt like I was under attack. 

They are pretty annoying but you just have to walk away.

And keep your hands on your wallet. 

They are everywhere: we met them all the time, near each museum (Louvre, The Musee d'Orsay ). Boy did I feel stupid when I saw them pull the same trick on another unsuspecting tourist.

Also watch out for pickpockets on the Eiffel tower and Metro.

When we returned last year we did not encounter a single one. Seems that there was a concentrated effort to move them out of the city.

But don't take any chances

If you put your money inside your clothes, no one can pick pocket you. If you don't make eye contact, no one has an invitation to talk to you. Anyone who tries to talk to you while you are minding your own business wants something. There are scams everywhere. A new one pops up everyday. So don't talk to anyone unless you want something from them. 

Enjoy Paris. It is one of the best cities in the world, and always will be.



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rather be in paris