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Taken for a ride on the Seine... others have tales to share?

Taken for a ride on the Seine... others have tales to share?

Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Taken for a ride on the Seine... others have tales to share?

So after years of feeling like the savvy, confident world traveler- I fell for a mild scam. Strolling arm in arm with fiance on the Seine, saw a ring on the ground at the same time as an approaching man. He offered it to us for good luck, said it wouldn't fit him anyways, and that we looked like such a nice couple. We (I) was charmed, and when he asked for 4 Eu in return, had no problem coughing up the cash.

After he left fiance pointed out the obvious but said that I seemed so enchanted that he didn't want to break the mood.... We were then approached with the same scenario several times the next couple of days, and saw others approached too. Clever, clever- using the romantic setting and woo to charm- totally drew me in. (The first time only- I didn't fall for it the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th go around).

So I post this in the hopes that others will share stories of mild "scams"- not the heart-breaking ones, but quick tales of make you smile and get a good story for a couple of euros- and I can know I'm not the only sucker out there....
EmilyMB is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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When I feel I'm being "charmed," the hair on the back of my neck stands straight up - a signal to walk away.
Robespierre is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:21 AM
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If it only cost you 4 euros you've learned a very good lesson at a very low cost!
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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I always wondered why they did this, now I know. Some people are charmed when strangers on the street pick up some piece of trash and ask them to pay for it.
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Really, I'm taking my lumps in stride . I'm not generally a gullible type but guess I was swooned by the romance of the scene. Or wine, or Paris, or a wicked cold... take your pick.

I am sure with all the travel stories this forum shares, someone else has also experienced and will be brave enough to share a 4 Euro story of a similar vein.

Or if not- take a chuckle at my expense. We're getting a good laugh out of it...
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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I don't understand this either.
Someone picks up something off the ground and offers it to you. Why would you even consider taking it ? Who knows where its been.
What if you didn't see the person picking it up off the ground; someone just showed up by your side and offered you something out of the blue. Wouldn't you be even less likely to take it, let alone buy it ?
I don't understand how one says they're being scammed. Wouldn't you just walk away without the proffered item ? If money is being asked for however pitifully or politely, wouldn't one just firmly give the item back or return it to the spot where it was found ?
Unless I'm not understanding this properly, it seems that one's always in control of what one decides to do, so wheres the trickery ?
Mathieu is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Emily -

I think you should count yourself as lucky - that this scam only involved costing you €4 for a piece of trash. I've read stories where these scam artists (work as a group) actually pickpocket the tourists when they're getting money out of their wallets.
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Emily I just saw your reply and I'm not being specific to or slamming you, just speaking in general, since there've been a number of posts of this type and I've never understood them.
And I am a die-hard romantic as we;; but maybe too practical a one as well
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Oh believe you me, if I had seen this post a couple of days ago myself I would have had the same reaction....

The first guy that did it was genuinely REALLY good- the other 3 were fairly obvious (and um, I was not as under the influence of the romance). My fiance said that he didn't jump in because he was getting a kick out of watching me fall for it, it was a $4 Eu lesson, and really, the guy was pretty darn good at his trade.

(I saw another couple fall for it, too- looking lovey-dovey on the Seine must be the target audience)

Yes, lesson learned. Not looking for sympathy at all or saying be forewarned- just was hoping someone else had a forehead smacking what on earth was I thinking moment to share. Or I'm the proud acceptor of the most gullible award.

EmilyMB is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Well Emily, you may be an experienced travellor, but those of us who are experienced at surfing the net travel forums have heard of this scam years ago, and it is constantly brought up . So not new at all.
Hey, 4 euros is 4 euros, no biggie, but really , be more careful about chatting with random strangers in touristy areas,, I guess I am a bit cynical , but this crap never works on me as I don't let strangers get close enough to me. I did have a long and lovely conversation with a local Parisiene lady at a cafe one lunch, but, I approached her( she asked waiter if store was open for smokes, when he said no, I offered her one of mine, I speak alittle french so this of course made it easy) .

Another scam is the strangers ( usaully women of a certain look, and when you see them you will know what I mean) approaching you with " do you speak english" , I never even stop to listen to them finish their sentence..

Emily you are too kind hearted, LOL, be the one who approaches locals if you want interaction, but be wary of those who approach you!
bozama is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2008, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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OK, so I've never been to Europe before. Hubby and I are going in August. One of the things I've been looking forward to the most is interacting with locals. I thought one of the good things about traveling outside one's own country was supposed to be the experience of talking to people from a different country/culture. Broadens the mind and all that. So...how are we to know who to talk to and who not to talk to?
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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Gablefan, I am sure if you don't hand over money, it won't matter if you accidentally talk to a person like this. But I think it will be clear enough when you're there.
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Old Mar 28th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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I don't find the scammers, especially the gypsy -- SORRY, "Roma" -- scammers the least bit funny or charming.

I'm in Paris now and daily I see people begging whose lives are a horror-show. Double, triple amputees. Or a guy today whose feet seemed to be put on backwards.

They get my money and my empathy.

The scammers, including the ring scammers -- always gypsies, in my experience -- can go to Hell.

As I have suggested to some of them this week.
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Gablefan, have such a wonderful trip to Europe! Its tough to generalize a continent, but we feel incredibly safe here and also enjoy conversing with locals. We like trying to pick up as much of the language as we can and visiting smaller villages for that very reason. Like all have said, what I posted about could happen anywhere around the world, and it's just as much the responsibility of the recipient to be wise. Paris (and the people) were lovely- enjoy your travels, wherever they may take you!
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