Beware of New Tourist Scam

May 20th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 150
Kerouac, I think we met this same
man in Paris a few years ago. He
asked us for directions, then told us
he had an uncle who owned a pizza place
in America. We didn't bite on the coat
bit, but he still tried to con us out
of money. We still laugh about it.
Katiemay is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 447
Fodor's to the rescue. We just returned from Paris and while walking up to the Eiffel Tower, were approached by a youngish man who was clearly new to this scam himself. I just smiled indulgently and kept going. Ironically enough, a couple of hours later on the other side of the Seine, the same guy tried the same scam without recognising he'd tried it on us earlier.
knickerbocker is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
This guy, was alone (older guy) from Switzerland he went to have dinner in a wellknown restaurant on OCean Drive in SOuth BEach. While at the bar, a very nice gentleman, he explained , started talking to him. They decided to have dinner together, so they did, before paying the other guy had to make a call or something. And the Swiss guy ended up with the bill. How about that?, he did not have with him enough money to pay, so the rstaurant kept his watch as a waranty. How do I know? ... I was staying in the same hotel and overheard the conversation when he told the front desk guy.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi G,

Interesting story.

It reminds us, when dining out with strangers ask for separate checks before ordering.

ira is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
"couple of women asking us if we spoke English. The first time my husband started to answer her when I pulled him away."

When we were there in May, there were a couple of women working this at the base of the Eiffel Tower. We just ignored them but I heard them hit someone else up for money.
Deja_Sue is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 172
I tell all those girls "No." in plain English. They all went away.
Belledame is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 108
I recently visisted Paris for the first time and saw guys in Montmartre, near Sacre Coeur, trying to lure tourists into some kind of "game" with string...something about wrapping it like a braid, maybe. Anyway, we didn't stick around long enough to figure out what they were up to, but I'm sure it's some kind of con, right? Can anyone shed some light? Thanks!
DaveBrad is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,220
Have never seen it but I have heard about this annoyance many times. Just keep away from the string guys.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 26th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,380
I read a book on the Rom which was pretty good, although I thought the author was a little biased (Isabel Fonseca, she's British) -- but while the use of the terms Rom and Romania may have come from different methods, I wouldn't say it is completely unlikely that one in Paris would be from Romania, as that country has a much larger than average proportion of the population that is Rom. So I wouldn't say they have nothing to do with each other, or that it is unlikely one is from Romania. The proportion in the CR and Slovakia is high, as well as the Balkan countries in general, but in Romania, I think it's over 10 percent of the entire population.

A lot of these scams on tourists are just trying to coerce people to give you things, by harassment, and so it isn't illegal. The string thing, for example (there are variants of this where women give you some stupid piece of a plant like you want to carry that around), is just them putting something on your arm, talking about how it's luck or whatever -- and then harrassing you into giving them money for doing that. I've heard those guys up in Montmartre can be really agressive, also. It isn't a game, as I understand it -- just any time you stop and engage in dialogue with strangers on the street like that, you are asking for it.

People shouldn't talk to strangers like this on the street. I've seen some go along the Champs Elysees in front of some of those sidewalk cafe places (the cheaper ones) and other places where they ask if anyone speaks English. Now why would anyone answer to that and tell a perfect stranger roaming along the street soliciting something, you can be sure, that they speak English?
Christina is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 104
This thread makes it sound like scamming is such a common thing in Paris. Seriously how often do you get scammed that you become so knowledgable? I'm starting to feel inferior and unworthy that nobody ever tried to scam me in Paris or anywhere. I must look too mean or too poor to be scammed!
todor is offline  
Jul 8th, 2007, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10
Whether this is new or not, it was new to me when I read it here; now DH and I are in Paris and have run into this several times. It's almost is so obvious that they are up to no good.

We've also run into gangs of Nigerians who do a varation of the friendship bracelet scam; they approach, grab someone unsuspecting and make a string chain on their finger, then ask for money. These people are very determined and will actually chase tourists down the street.

We've also been treated to various ripoffs involving change...people who claim not to have change for bills, hoping you'll say "forget it"; waiters who hope we don't understand the currency and give us the wrong change; the "slow count"'s really amazing.

All in all, though, it's a fairly simple matter to spot these things as long as you're on your toes.

srasaenz3406 is offline  

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