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Huge increase in "deaf/mute" scam in Paris

Huge increase in "deaf/mute" scam in Paris

Old Aug 20th, 2011, 03:28 AM
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Ignorance concerning the half million Roma who perished during the Holocaust reinforces anti-Roma prejudice today. To counter this, the European Parliament should ...
blog.soros.org/2010/12/the-roma-holocaust-the-history

If this bothers you simply walk on...

But inclusion not exclusion is the answer

if there is one.
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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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In Key West we do the "bum the bum first" Soon as you see them ask them for a cigarette first and it totally throws them off. They aren't as bad as they use to be but are still a pain in the arse. I do know Ireland has had a problem for years with the women asking for money for milk for their baby. Check out the baby and many times it is fake. It is very uncomfortable and I ignore them and usually have a jacket on with an inside zipper pocket. If I carry a purse it is small and a crossover.
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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 08:00 PM
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The main reason gypsies have been persecuted and driven out of so many countries is that they have a culture that revolves around shafting the rest of society. Obviously, that's not a way to make friends. It's a bit like the Mafia, except that, for some reason, it's okay to admit that the Mafia is filled with crooks, but it's politically incorrect to acknowledge that gypsy culture is based on taking advantage of non-gypsies.

You can be politically correct and get your wallet stolen, or you can face reality and keep your credit cards, cash, and passport.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 05:24 PM
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We encountered many of these during our time in Paris. We, of course knew it was a scam due to info here on Fodors, so no problem for us. We watched the gypsies/beggars/scammers approach unsuspecting tourists and hoped the tourists would make the right choice and walk away. Most did.

Then the beggars approached a young girl, probably 16-18 yrs old. They had her. She was going for her wallet. I intervened, luckily she spoke English. The beggar was most certainly not deaf or mute, at that point she was yelling at us in whatever language she spoke and then she pointed at my husband and from her hand motions, we surmised, she cast a spell on him. It was pretty entertaining.

Adults, you're on your own, but they shouldn't go after young, naive kids. I just had to step in then. Kind of crossing the line IMO.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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I'm amazed that there are still men who carry their wallet (with lots of cash and credit cards) in the back pocket ANYPLACE (Europe or otherwise).

I carry a tiny, tiny, amazingly thin and small billfold that is so thin and small, it can hold only my transit pass and about 20 Euros in my breast pocket. You can't even see it when my reading glasses and a pen are also in the pocket. In addition, if it's not too warm, I might wear a lightweight pullover sweater over it.

Extra cash and credit/ATM cards go in a hidden wallet attached to my pants and tucked in out of sight. It's a pain to get it out when I need it, but so far no losses.

All major cash and documents and everything else stay in the hotel safe.

SS
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 10:02 AM
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michele_d--Our DD just finished a study abroad term in Paris. She told me a story about a young Japanese tourist who was about to get her purse lifted from one of these deaf/mute people. Another student that DD was with saw it start to happen and told the tourist, in the nick of time. The deaf/mute girl turned to DD's friend, so obviously heard her, and got mad and jabbed her pen in DD's friends rear end! No damage, thankfully, but DD's friend definitely gave the deaf/mute an earful.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:33 PM
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mms,
Yes, those deaf/mutes can get kind of testy when you interrupt their "work".
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 03:28 AM
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AnthonyGA - you should be ashamed of yourself. Write that paragraph again and replace "gypsies" with "jews". Still happy to post it? Well, that's exactly the sort of thing you would have heard out of the Nazis. As has been pointed out, the Roma were targeted in the Holocaust as well, and are still widely persecuted and discriminated against, as even you yourself acknowledge. Whether or not there is a criminal element in a society, it is unfair and wrong to claim that all members of that society are criminal or that their entire culture is based on criminality.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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I do not think that AntonyGA said that " that all members of that society are criminal or that their entire culture is based on criminality", but that almost all "deaf / mute" beggers and / or thefts are gypsies.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 05:20 AM
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To be precise, he said "The main reason gypsies have been persecuted and driven out of so many countries is that they have a culture that revolves around shafting the rest of society... it's politically incorrect to acknowledge that gypsy culture is based on taking advantage of non-gypsies". I think my response was a fair reflection of those sentiments.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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A wish to help others is human nature. Naive/inexperienced to stop for these people, yes. Stupid? not necessarily.

It's good to forewarn occasionally as you have done here, Anthony, because many don't come from metropolitan areas where this sort of thing goes on.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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<<You can be politically correct and get your wallet stolen, or you can face reality and keep your credit cards, cash, and passport.>>

Or you can acknowledge the value of the Roma culture for what it is - far more than just a culture of "shafting the rest of society" - and still not be a dumb-ass tourist who gets taken advantage of by ANYone.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 08:57 AM
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I will stand by my statements. The gypsy culture (or Roma culture, if that makes you happier) revolves around a sharp division between other gypsies and the rest of society. The rest of society consists solely of "marks," waiting to be fleeced, in gypsy culture. It's a culture based on scamming or stealing from anyone outside that culture. That's why it has historically been so unpopular.

The tired old comparison to the Jews won't work. Judaism isn't based on criminal activity. Jews are not raised to steal from non-Jews. But gypsies are. It may not be politically correct to acknowledge that, but that doesn't prevent it from being true.

Gypsies who leave this culture and join the mainstream obviously have a different viewpoint—although it's very hard to completely follow the straight and narrow path if you've been raised in a society where dishonesty towards others is the rule. But for those who are in that culture, "shafting the rest of society" is standard practice.

I'm sorry that the culture is that way, and I'm sorry to say that I've never had any interaction with a gypsy that didn't involve some sort of attempted scam or theft, but that's the way it is. And you can bet that the favorite victims of gypsy scams are the ones who stubbornly refuse to accept this reality.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 05:14 AM
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I'm in Paris now, and despite this thread I had no idea just HOW big this scam has become in Paris. In the past week, I'd estimate I've been approached at least 8 or 9 times and have observed others being approached at least three times that many times. I've watched as what appeared to be a local businessman on Rue Honore sign the form, then get shaken down for money, and when the girl became aggressive pointed to what must be the "small print amount" he had agreed to by signing, he walked away, with the girl running after him and hitting him sharply in the back with her clipboard.

But yesterday morning early on the bridge right behind Notre Dame, I saw the most amazing thing (well, not so amazing really). There were about a dozen of these girls chatting and laughing, then they split up into groups of three and went in opposite directions. It was then I realized that what they were carrying were those clipboards with pledge forms and sure enough, immediately one of the girls stopped to cyclists and were getting them to sign. I've never watched a group of "deaf girls" actively chatting and laughing before. SCAM indeed.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 05:37 AM
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I don't see too many of them, since I do not spend the day in tourist areas, except for the Champs Elysées gypsies who are folded into a position of prostration every 100 meters up and down the street. They're not too much of a bother except as obstacles when you are walking.

However, one thing really mystifies me about the working (scamming) gypsies, and that is the way they are dressed, almost as though it's a uniform. Therefore, the moment they try to walk up to you (if you know about them), it's easy to get them to back off with just a hand motion. Since they don't wear those dresses and scarves when they are "off duty" -- they wear jeans and t-shirts -- it seems to me that they could scam a lot more people if they blended into the crowd. The only possible explanation that I can think of for the outfits is that they can pretend more easily not to speak French when the police collar them temporarily.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 06:24 AM
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The good news is the colder weather is coming and the scammers move on to a warmer climate!
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 06:28 AM
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These young scammers or beggers are under age which is why the police can't do anything. They are usually under 15 years of age and a lot of the girls are pregnant too! I saw 5 coming out of a police station, all girls, all around 12 years of age, ALL of them pregant. The police officer told me they couldn't do anything about it and had to let them off with a warning.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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kerouac, one thing about your post puzzles me, but maybe I'm misunderstanding. Are you talking about the "uniform" of the "deaf" scammers? If so, you must be right that you don't see them. I haven't seen any in such a uniform, they tend to dress very much like other girls their age and do indeed blend in with the crowd. If anything, I've sometimes thought they looked a little too 'trendy' teen to arouse a lot of sympathy.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 09:25 AM
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Oh, I've only seen them dressed a gypsies with the long skirts and the head scarves. If you have seen trendy ones, that means they are finally adapting to the environment. The last ones I saw with a clipboard were at Pont Neuf in mid August, but there was no mistaking their gypsy garb.
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Old Sep 5th, 2011, 12:15 PM
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Ah, then yes indeed, they have changed. I haven't seen one dressed in "traditional gypsy" garb.
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