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Huge increase in "deaf/mute" scam in Paris

Huge increase in "deaf/mute" scam in Paris

Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Romani or not the Paris flics should be able to get someone who looks like a naive tourist to be a decoy and nab these little urchins - but as some have told me that they are underage means they will be back on the streets before a blink of an eye.

Why Paris and Italian trains and Rome and Florence and other places allow this to go unchecked in mind boggling - especially since both Sarkozy and Bellosconi have been really anti-Romani in their policies.

whether or not they are Romani I do not know but they look exactly like the Romani I see all over France in Romani camps, including one right near my second home in France.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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I wasn't depending on the link; I have dealt with them in person, and they are gypsies.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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tant pis that in Paris and many large tourist cities you should always be leery of anyone coming up to for any reason - any reason - tis a pity as they oft are up to no good.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:33 AM
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Here's a video I found that actually shows some of the scams in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO6CFSosqKE

It also seems to show that Italian police consider scams to be more entertainment than something that they should be doing anything about.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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Ira, from the link:

"Ces « collecteurs » issus de la communauté rom roumaine, que l’on peut parfois surprendre en train de se parler, ne sont ni sourds ni muets."
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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I guess I haven't been to Europe for a couple years. Has this replaced the practice of young 'deaf people' passing out little cheap souveniers on trains or placing them on your restaurant or cafe table with a note about being deaf, then coming back to collect them or preferably money if you will buy one?

I remember watching this going on once and someone turning his back to the 'deaf person' and calling out "police" to have the deaf person miraculously cured and able to hear and running away even leaving some of the novelties behind.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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I guess these scammers never had mommies who gave them the “your face will freeze like that” speech.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Does the huge increase of deaf-mute scammers really mean that there is a huge increase of naive tourists? I can't imagine any other explanation, because no matter how many of them I see, it doesn't change what I do.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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As for people who think that the solution is to yell "police," may I ask for what reason the police would intervene? Is it a crime for a beggar to think that you are stupid?
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 09:39 AM
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The pouch recommended in the video is the one I use minus the neck strap which I cut off. It has a heavy belt loop and I wear it on my belt. This has been the case for years, and I've had no problems, probably because my arm naturally falls against it practically all the time, and because if anyone on the street approaches me either begging or trying to offer me something, I immediately secure the pouch and my camera; the same goes when I am in a crowded public transport.

During our trip in May, we came across no panhandlers or street sellers in Rome, Naples and Florence; a few homeless sleeping in the Naples train station at 6 a.m. The Florence train station seems to have markers beyond which street sellers and panhandlers are not allowed.

<i>It also seems to show that Italian police consider scams to be more entertainment than something that they should be doing anything about.</i>

The deals were too good to be true. The cops know it, and the buyer is naive to think otherwise. I do not think that the cops in the States would do much more about it; they just would not laugh in your face.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Thank you, nikki.

I missed it twice.

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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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I think the huge increase in scammers might reflect less enforcement or perhaps simply easier access to France, although tourist numbers in Paris are excellent right now despite the current depression. About nine out of ten tourists in the most popular locations appear to be Oriental now (Japanese and Chinese, some other nationalities), and perhaps these tourists are easier marks (?).

The police will intervene in Paris, and in fact they sometimes materialize without being called, but there is often little that they can do. In the case of theft, the stolen wallets and such are quickly passed from one crook to another, so that it's very difficult to determine who took what and where it is by the time the police arrive. Begging itself isn't illegal. Forcing minors to beg is highly illegal, but the person in charge is always conspicuously absent and the minors won't file a complaint. The police will destroy their fraudulent begging materials (the papers that claim they are deaf, etc.), which they won't complain about because they know that they'd only get themselves in trouble. Sometimes they search their bags and stuff, too, and if they should find something stolen, then it's time to go to the police station. But they are minors, so they just end up getting released to their parents, anyway.

Whether it is naïve or greedy of tourists or not, laughing at them because of this is professional misconduct for the police. This is especially true if they've actually had something stolen rather than just being taken advantage of.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Don't mix begging with scams. They are totally different things.

If you wanted to post about thefts also, you should have put it in the title of your post.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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Why not mix begging with scams? Either way, you lose money.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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"As for people who think that the solution is to yell "police," may I ask for what reason the police would intervene? Is it a crime for a beggar to think that you are stupid?"

I think you missed the point. It's not that the person calling for police really thinks the will come, but apparently calling police makes the scammers run. So it's not what the "victim" thinks, it's what the scammers think.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Is it not a scam, as opposed to begging, when a person claims to solicit for a bogus charity? Would this not then be illegal?
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Old Aug 19th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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Scam implies some sort of fraud, and in some cases fraud is illegal (it's not illegal to lie, but it depends on why you are lying).

In cases I have seen, as I've mentioned, the police tear up the papers that the scammers are using to get money. They can't actually arrest them, because they haven't seen them conducting the scam, but they can tear up the papers, because the papers fraudulently claim that the scammers are deaf, and fraudulently name real or fake charities, and so on. The scammers are in no position to complain about losing their scamming tools, and destroying the tools does prevent them from pulling the same thing, at least for a short while.
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Old Aug 19th, 2011, 05:13 PM
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I've been approached a couple of times here in my home city by a guy who handed out notes saying he's deaf and would we please buy pencils from him, pay any price you like. The last time it happened the people at the next table started digging out their wallets. I tried to tell them it's a scam, he's not deaf. They got mad at me and thought I was really rude. I wish I had the idea to call out "POLICE" but I didn't think of it at the time. But I'll do it next time, I would love to see the "deaf" person's reaction to that.

Thanks for the idea Patrick.
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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 12:23 AM
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All you have to do is turn slightly away from the scammer, and say something completely obscene (preferably an insult) out loud. Then watch his expression. If it changes, he heard you, and you've proved your case.
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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 03:24 AM
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Baeggars have been in France and Italy for millenia police

can do nothing without being accused of discrimination...

they even pay them 1000 euros deport them they bus back

immediately due to porous borders...

France has had easy immigration policies for decades leading to this.They are not "gypsies" but The ROMA a proud migratory people originating in India(not egypt).They have made their living like this on the margins of society.They have been victims of mass discrimation for millenia including death camps.George Sauros the man who broke the bank on England in the 90s and a Roma documents all abuse thorught his foundation

In times of economic collapse like now it will get worse.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010...3/sarkozy-roma
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