17 Most Common Tourist Scams in France

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France Paris Eiffel Tower

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For over twenty years, France has been the #1 most visited country in the world! In this gem of a country, we have the most romantic city in the world, the French Atlantic coast, modern winter resorts on the French Alps, medieval castles of Normandy and many more! Coupled with world class gastronomy, fashion and culture, it is little wonder why France is one of the most loved countries in the world.

However, such unrivalled numbers of tourists have also brought about a rise in tourist targeted scams and crime. Read on to learn how to protect yourself in the city of lights!



1. The gold ring trick

A very old and common trick in and around France, especially Paris.

A gypsy will coincidentally find a gold ring on the floor, point at the “18k” hallmark on the ring and offer it to you. Trust me, there ARE people who take it. It can be very convincing. It goes something like this:

Scammer: “Sir, did you drop this ring?”
You: “No, I did not”
Scammer: “Well, you can give it to your wife, why not? It will make her happy. They might also insist that their religion (or some cock and bull reason) prevents them from keeping the ring.

If you accept, the gypsy will demand your money in return. She will simply say:

Scammer: “Sir, I am hungry, could you give me some money/change for a croissant?”

When you give, they will ask for more. Most people tend to give as they have accepted/taken something from the scammer. Reciprocity is a very powerful thing.

Sometimes, the scammer might walk away and reappear 5 minutes later to demand your money. Whatever it is, they will stop at nothing to get money from you.

The most scheming ones will have an accomplice pickpocket you while you are protesting.

Rule of thumb:

If it is not yours, don’t’ take it. Keep a lookout for suspicious people and gold stuff on the ground! It is mere useless polished brass.


2. Louvre pickpockets

Mona lisa Louvre

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I know, we are all here to see Mona Lisa and that’s the area where pickpockets operate. There are usually huge masses of people at the cordoned off area trying to snap pictures of the painting. It is squeezy and most people are unaware of their surroundings, the perfect scenario for pickpockets.

Reports have found that in one day in July alone, 56 stolen wallets were found in the museum! And the thing was that these were just the discovered ones, imagine how many more went undiscovered..

Do be careful outside the Louvre as well! Queues are snakingly long and this presents a great opportunity for pickpockets too.

Rule of thumb:

There are actually many other tricks and scenarios pickpockets exploit. Check out the article on Netherlands for a comprehensive list. Or the article on Spain works as well. These are where the pros operate.

If you want to avoid becoming a victim, stay alert especially in busy places and keep your cash safe and secure. Only carry small amounts of cash around with you. Avoid carrying the purse or wallet in the back pocket. Also, use a spare walletmoney belt or anti-theft bag to further protect yourself from pickpockets.

Further, keep most of your valuables and passport in the hotel safe. Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead. Also, consider using hotel safety tools such as a hotel safe lock or door jammer to further strengthen the security of your hotel room.


3. The string/bracelet scam

Very common in France (especially the sacre Coeur/Montmartre area, Seine River, Louvre, Gare du Nord) and around Europe as well. You can find them in countries such as Italy and Greece. They can even be found on metro lines leading to the Montmartre area! They are easy to spot as they carry long, colored string, yarn or other items.

What they do (normally Africans) is they ask if you want a “friendship bracelet” or “friendship ring”. If you say yes, they will tie it so tight around your wrist or finger that makes it impossible to remove. They will then demand money from you. If you refuse, his accomplices will emerge and forcefully bring you to the nearest ATM to withdraw everything inside.

Another variation is that these scammers will first engage you in a conversation. They then ask if you want to see a magic trick. Before you know it, they would have skilfully tied a band around your wrist or fingers.

More creative scammers will approach couples and offer the woman for free. Should the woman accept, another will pop out to offer the man. Since it is assumed to be free, the man tends to accept. But once you do, good luck as they will begin hounding you for payment.

The most ruthless ones will tie the friendship band and while distracting you, an accomplice will appear out of nowhere and steal your valuables.

Rule of thumb:

Stay alert and stay away. Keep your hands well hidden in your jacket or somewhere if you walk past them.

Single female travellers should take extra precaution as they have been observed to be the favourite targets of these crooks.


4. Ball and cup/shell game/three pea scam

The shell game/three pea game scam is everywhere in Europe (e.g. UK, Germany, Italy), and it is the same everywhere – you will never win.

To win the game, you have to bet which one of three cups contain a pea or a ball, after a scammer switches the cups around at a fast speed. Guess correctly and you double your money. This is quite commonly seen at the Champs-de-Mars park behind Eiffel Tower.

At the game, you will usually spot a whole bunch of people – they are actually all part of the same gang. One person will switch the cups around, one will play the game, three to five will act as the onlookers, and one will on the lookout. The trick is that the scammer switching the cups will make it painfully obvious which cup the pea/ball is in when the accomplice plays.

However, once you are hooked and join the game, they will use a sleight of hand trick to switch the pea/ball without you realizing at the last moment.

Do not be a spectator too, as you leave yourself open to being a pickpocket target by the accomplices.

Rule of thumb:

Give this set up a wide berth.


5. Petitions

Normally out in full force at the Eiffel Tower, this scam is perpetuated by young girls working in groups. It usually starts with an innocent question: “do you speak English”?

There are a few variations of this scam. Firstly, someone will try to hold your attention as they get you to understand the petition and to sign it. Next moment, your wallet is gone. It could be done stealthily, or a bunch of people could simply mob you.

Another variation would be young girls approaching you to sign a petition to help save the world/help the deaf/the mute etc. They might pretend to be deaf/mute themselves. A clipboard is shoved in your face, and you see several signatures and some French words.

These words basically mean that if you sign, you have to give 1,000 euros or you will face a penalty. If you don’t pay, suddenly more kids will appear out of nowhere to pressure you to pay. While being distracted, you become an easy pickpocketing target.

Finally, be wary of the creative ones who place the clipboard on your table (assuming you are at a restaurant/cafe). When you chase them away, you will realize that any valuables which you have laid out on the table will have disappeared as well.

Rule of thumb:

Firmly reject any petition and be on your way.


 6. The rose scam

flower scam

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A pretty stupid scam, but people do still fall for it.

It is very simple, a scammer offers you a rose as a token of friendship in the city of love. When you accept it, payment will be demanded. Even if you return the rose, you will be constantly hounded till it would be better to pay the scammer off.

Another version is where the scammer targets couples, by offering the girl the rose and asking the guy to pay.

Rule of thumb:

Never accept something from a random stranger on the streets. Nothing is never free.


7. Street vendors/touts

paris street vendor

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It can be any item, as long as street vendors/touts are the ones selling it. What they do is to let you try out whatever items (e.g. bracelets) they have. Before you have time to say no, they will quickly demand payment.

Some of the more irritating ones will keep pestering you. For instance, if you have bought something, they will hound you to buy more. If you refuse, they will continue hounding you but with a discounted price this time round.

Rule of thumb:

Don’t even bother engaging.



1. Unscrupulous taxi drivers

France taxi

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There are unscrupulous drivers who purposely take a longer route. Then there are also those who do not have a meter and charge an inflated fixed fare.

Next, there are taxis without meters. Those are actually not real taxis, not fake ones acting as one. You will either be charged an unreasonable fare, or brought somewhere secluded and robbed.

Finally, you will find these all over the world (e.g. Mexico, Indonesia), which are the unofficial taxi touts at airports. At the Charles de Gaulle Airport, these taxi touts are extremely aggressive. They will probably demand €20-30 more than legit taxis.

Rule of thumb:

Do some online research or check with your hotel staff on the best route and how much a trip should cost before taking a cab. We would recommend not taking any cab which refuses to use a meter. However, knowing a rough price at least gives you the flexibility of taking these cabs without being charged an unreasonable fee.

If you have GPS on your phone, you can use it as well to check if you are heading in the correct direction and also not brought on a long route.

Finally, keep your eye on the meter during the trip just to make sure that it has not been tampered with. For instance, look out for prices that jump too rapidly.


2. Helpful people (at metros)

This is one of the most difficult scams to prevent/protect yourself from. And also common around the world (e.g. Morocco, India). There are also so many variations and you just have to be alert. Below is a scenario at metro stations.

Do NOT let someone help you buy your metro pass. There are people who dress like train officials to make themselves look more credible. They usually work in groups of 3-4 so as to pressure you. When these officials help you get a ticket, they actually buy the child ticket but charge you adult fare for it. If you are unlucky, you might be caught by the real train official and made to pay an exorbitant fine.

Another variation is of scammers who picking up used/thrown tickets and trying to sell them to you as if they were still usable.

By the way, the metro machines do not take notes, credit cards and debit cards. So if someone asks you for those so as to help you buy a ticket, that should be a huge red flat.

Rule of thumb:

Don’t accept unsolicited help from a random stranger. If you really need help, head to the official station or check with another local/tourist who is using the machine as well.



1. “Charities” and beggars

paris beggar

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Normally perpetrated by gypsies, Africans or small girls, they will appeal to your emotion and seek money for accident victims, orphanages, or simply their personal woes. When you are distracted, their accomplices spring into action to steal your valuables.

Some beggars also have motionless pets lying next to them so as to enhance the “pitiful” sight. Note that these pets are drugged.

The smarter beggars “hunt” for victim at restaurants. They are equipped with a piece of paper detailing their sob story and their plea for some donations. When they reach your table, they stuff it in your face so that you cannot see what is below. If you had laid out your valuables on the table, they will be stolen.

Rule of thumb:

Ignore them as most of them work in packs. Give in to one or engage one and you might find yourself becoming a pickpocket target for their accomplices.

These beggars tend to loiter around the restaurant to observe the situation before moving in for the “kill”, so do keep your valuables secure with you. Avoid carrying the purse or wallet in the back pocket. Also, use a spare walletmoney belt or anti-theft bag to further protect yourself from pickpockets.

Further, keep most of your valuables and passport in the hotel safe. Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead. Also, consider using hotel safety tools such as a hotel safe lock or door jammer to further strengthen the security of your hotel room.


2. Lost soul scam

A bunch of people carrying a large map walks up to you and ask for help. If you are like most people, you would have said yes, since you would most probably have been in that situation before as a traveller. While you are checking the map and/or pointing directions to them, the scammer’s accomplices would have stolen your valuables.

This can easily happen in restaurants/cafes/picnics as well if you had laid out your valuables on the table. The scammer will simply lay out a map over your valuables and take them with the map when they go.

Rule of thumb:

If you want to avoid becoming a victim, stay alert especially in busy places and keep your cash safe and secure. Only carry small amounts of cash around with you. Avoid carrying the purse or wallet in the back pocket. Also, use a spare walletmoney belt or anti-theft bag to further protect yourself from pickpockets.

Further, keep most of your valuables and passport in the hotel safe. Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead. Also, consider using hotel safety tools such as a hotel safe lock or door jammer to further strengthen the security of your hotel room.


3. Clumsy jogger/person

Beware! They will knock into you, bump into you and next moment, you find that something has gone missing from your pocket or backpack! By then, the jogger would have sprinted off already.

It could be a jogger, someone in the crowded market or even a passenger on the train. Another variation is the stain routine, where the scammer stains your shirt and apologize profusely. While you are distracted, the accomplice springs into action.

Rule of thumb:

Try to keep a space between others while standing or walking. Stay alert.


4. Did you drop something?

We have observed this at Sacre Coeur and believe this scam to be pretty common around the world. So what happens is that you will hear something drop nearby. Suddenly, someone would ask if you have dropped something. The aim is to distract you so that an accomplice can steal from you without you realizing. This becomes even easier should you bend over to check.

Another variation is that of asking if you have dropped your wallet. Natural reflex action means that you would check your pocket for your wallet, and this reveals the location of your wallet to the scammer.

Rule of thumb:

Stay alert. Keep your valuables secure with you.


5. Child pickpockets

paris child pickpocket

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There are reports that 75% of pickpockets on the Paris Metro actually belong to an organised gang which “recruits” girls from age 12-16. These girls are trained in the art of pickpocket-ing and to claim that they are 12 years old should they be arrested. This is because criminal prosecution is difficult for this age.

It has been reported that these girls are given a target of at least 300 euros a day. Else, they would be punished with beatings, attacked by knives and cigarettes and might even be subjected to rape.

Rule of thumb:

If you want to avoid becoming a victim, stay alert especially in busy places and keep your cash safe and secure. Only carry small amounts of cash around with you. Avoid carrying the purse or wallet in the back pocket. Also, use a spare walletmoney belt or anti-theft bag to further protect yourself from pickpockets.

Further, keep most of your valuables and passport in the hotel safe. Carry around a photocopy of your passport instead. Also, consider using hotel safety tools such as a hotel safe lock or door jammer to further strengthen the security of your hotel room.


6. ATM machines

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It is essential to be aware of this scam, as it can be especially painful.

One situation is where the ATM machine is rigged to swipe/capture your card details. If a camera is not already set up to capture your PIN, a scammer will stand real close behind you to see your PIN number.

Another situation is where your card is eaten up by the ATM machine. Coincidentally, the bank is closed at that time. This is because there are criminal gangs who use a device that memorises PIN numbers and prevent your ATM card from being ejected. They then download the PIN number and withdraw cash from your account.

Finally, another situation is when you are withdrawing money, someone taps you to ask an innocent question in a language you do not understand. As you are distracted, the scammer will walk closer to you and grab the money when it comes out from the ATM and run off. The more brazen ones will simply grab your money and run.

Rule of thumb:

So what you should do is besides shielding your PIN and watching out for suspicious looking characters around, use ATMs only during business hours if possible. Also examine ATM machines for any unusually devices, though it is not an easy task. It is best to just use those in the banks. Avoid ATMs in dimly lit areas or where it’s more secluded and not easy to get help.

Also, keep a list of 24 hour hotline for your credit cards so that you can enquire and/or cancel your card any time.


7. Overcharging cafes and restaurants

france paris cafe

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This happens around the world, not just in France.

For instance, a café might serve you larger and more expensive drinks if you do not specify the size you want. Restaurants might also serve you an inflated bill.

Rule of thumb:

Ask your hotel staff or do some online research to find a reputable place to eat at.

Next, before a meal, check the prices to ensure it has prices clearly listed. Look out for fine print, especially those in another language. After a meal, scrutinize the bill carefully. Are there extra items or charges? Or are the prices listed correct?


8. Sleeping thieves

There are thieves who pretend to sleep so that you will let your guard down against them. They are actually observing you and waiting for the perfect time to strike.

Rule of thumb:

Watch out for them especially on the metro or in restaurants. To keep your belongings safe, consider locking your backpack, placing it down while on the train or simply spreading your valuables around in secure areas.



1. Emergency numbers to call

France police

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  • SAMU (Ambulance): 15
  • Police: 17
  • Fire: 18
  • EU wide general emergency number (can be used in any EU country): 112

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  1. R Flex

    These worked for me:
    1. When they asked if I dropped the gold ring I said yes and reached for it. They pulled it back and left.
    2. When I say a block away that women were pressing sprigs of herbs in tourists hands and demanding money, I pulled a branch off a bush. When they came to me I said “Oh good you want to trade and pushed my branch at them. They did not know what to do.

    • Mo

      Be aware of the parisianist.com website! It is a scam! Do not book any thickets via this website. They will take your debit card details, will not send you any tickets and will keep taking money from your bank account!

    • Jess

      Hahaha love it.

  2. Mr Me

    I say names of random Canadian towns in an aggressive native accent so they have no idea what language I speak.

    “Did you drop this ring?”
    “Sir did you drop this..”

    • Admin

      hahaha! easy way of getting out of trouble 🙂

  3. opera rose

    Two weeks ago we returned from Paris and i can confirm that the above scams were fully operating on the Champs Elysees and on and around the Eiffel Tower.
    We arrived in Paris on the Eurostar- a journey i have taken many times. My son and I walked to the taxi rank and waited in the queue.
    The taxi rank supervisor indicated to us which taxi to board and out of nowhere, 2 or 3 men appeared and took our luggage without my consent and started to load up the taxi.
    The car had “taxi parisien” signage on the roof of the car.

    I do speak French so when i asked them to stop, the luggage was already locked into the “taxi” and the men asked for “service”. Before i could speak, the “taxi driver” told them to go away and then the doors locked. It was distraction.
    i realised then that we were not in a Taxi Parisien and the driver asked where we were going and after i gave him the address- he said the cost was EURO 85. There was no meter.
    The fare for this journey in a Taxi Parisien would have cost 15-20 Euro at the most.
    Not wanting to alarm my young son, i stayed calm and prayed that he would take us to our hotel and not some remote part of Paris where we would be robbed or worse.
    I paid the “taxi driver” .

    I often wonder if the taxi rank supervisor was part of the scam.

    • Admin

      Oh my, that’s one elaborate scam not easy to get out of in the heat of the moment, particularly even more so as scammers selectively target their victims (in this case you had a young child). Thanks for sharing Opera! Am sure this will help many other readers. Hope the rest of the trip was great for you! 🙂

  4. Ann Coward

    Any of these are new? nope. In Rome I saw the train ticket scam in operation. Carabinieri were 5 meters away. I’m not saying there is complicity, but certainly there is some level of tolerance that is peculiar

  5. Kirsten

    Nothing will be done. The Roma’s /gypsies have destroyed paris/nice and the mouton populace seem to enjoy it as the govt appears apathetic and not do anything. Boycott until the Romas/gypsies are gone.

  6. Scott Winters

    I’ve been to Paris twice, most recently last weekend (10/28-30/16). Most of the scams you listed were going at full force at the Eiffel Tower – Street Vendors, String Bracelets, Cup and Ball, Petitions and likely some of the others I didn’t see. One not on your list was the beer/wine/champagne vendors that surrounded the areas outside of the secured area below the Eiffel Tower. At Gard du Nord train station we also were swarmed by the illegal taxis drivers upon arrival and by a very aggressive begging gypsy when we returned. Much of this was done with no apparent concern by the Police who were usually quite close by to where all this was happening and where they could clearly see what was going on. I hate to say it, but if I never return to Paris or France in general that will be just fine.

  7. Annonymus

    oh my …at the end of the day i was so pissed that those street vendors became so anoing that i took what they offered to me for free without payment! Just dont look like your intrested, of just tell em to fuck off! They just leave u alone the next time, trust me, These gypsys/scammers are such a pain! Police wont do anything about it!
    In such a beautiful city i expect to be not bothered! I dont think i eill be goong to paris anytime soon!

  8. Michael

    Decided to walk from the Eiffel Tower to a nice cafe we enjoy. Being late afternoon the wide gravel path between the Sein and Quai Branly was mostly deserted except for an elderly Roma woman who approached us and “found” one of those ubiquitous rings people seem to be losing all over Paris.
    I have been aware of this scam for a long time, but have never had anyone attempt it on me before. I couldn’t help myself, but as soon as she picked it up and held it out to us I burst out laughing! We just kept on walking and the woman left us alone.

  9. Dave

    Just got back from paris, i can also confirm these scams are still happening. I did no research on local scams before we left. we experienced the following scams.
    1. Train ticket scam.
    After landing we went to the train station at the airport, we were unsure of which ticket to buy when a man came to help us. He showed us which ticket we needed and asked if we had a travel payment card, we said no, so he put his card in the machine and produced 2 tickets for us. I was already suspicious of him and his slight of hand with the tickets was not quick enough. Not sure why but my reaction was to laugh. He calmly walked away no argument.

    2. Charity Signature scam.
    A woman asked us if we speak english, then asked us to sign a petition, i said no and she laid the guilt on thick, so much so i felt bad. I only stopped feeling bad after googling it and finding out it was a scam.

    3.Tight bracelet scam
    Guy approached us with his hands outstretched holding a noose looking bracelet, i had heard of this scam before so said no in my most french accent.

    4. Ball and cup gambling.
    Saw a few big winners who were obviously in on it, and one girl crying her eyes out because she lost. No idea how much but she was sobbing her heart out.

    5. Trinket seller
    After beating my fear of heights at the eiffel tower i was feeling good so decided to buy a memento outside, big mistake. Getting my change out of the trinket guy was an ordeal. My wife and i both had to shout at him to get my change.

    6. Airport hotel scam.
    At the airport i was litteraly about to go through security when a guy appeared claiming his flight was delayed and he had been mugged, he wanted money for a hotel stay. He was doing this right in front of airport staff who, as far as i know, did nothing.

    Still we loved paris, one of the best holidays we have ever taken, amazing scenery but very expensive, 7.50e for a beer!

  10. Unknown

    Say “goodbye” then leave

  11. Barbara

    A variation of the stain routine happened to me and my husband shortly after arriving in Barcelona. We were approaching a metro entrance hauling suitcases etc and someone came up to us and said we had something all over our backs. It was some kind of mayonnaise sauce squirted all over our backs. He offered to wipe it off. Not till after we were moving again did we realize that it could only have been him who squirted it on us, since no one else was close to us. We never found anything missing so we must have not been easy pick-pocket targets, though I am sure we looked like it, exhausted and feeble.

  12. Stephen

    When I travelled around Rome, Venice and Florence I put my wallet in my front pocket. I then secured it with 2 safety pins. I never felt insecure in a crowd like this.

  13. Kim

    I just came back from Paris and indeed faced some scams, however one in particular was very unsettling, but I could not find it here in the comments.
    I was relaxing on a wall in the park in front of the Louvre alone while my boyfriend was getting us crepes, when i was approached by a french man (I think around the age of 25-30). He looked really neat, but I didnt understand him. I told him I didnt speak French so he continued in English. But his English was really poor. He asked me all kind of question: What I did there, if it was my first time in Paris, what I enjoyed the most, what i wanted to see etc. I gave him just short answers because I could feel he wasnt up to do good. I just gave him some vague answers and told him I was chilling there waiting for my boyfriend to come back. After some minutes my boyfriend was walking towards us and the guy left without saying anything. So I was watching him leave and saw him walking straight up to some other girl who was alone.
    This was quiet unsettling, but luckily some Americans who were sitting two meters next to me where watching all the time and said they had my back. They found it strange as well.
    We stayed there for another 20 minutes and as we were watching the crowed we saw the Frenchman again together with another man who was dressed almost the same. They were scanning the crowed and went up to girls who were alone.
    So I don’t really know what they were up to, but i don’t think it was chit chatting. Does anyone know their game?

    • Cristina

      yes! i saw it on the netflix show “scam city”. they approach girls and try to sweet talk them and get them to go out for drinks or a fun night. its almost like a competition, if you have sex with them they get one point. they wont rob you or anything, just try to have sex with you.

  14. Helen

    There is a new one at Charles de Gaulle airport where a well dressed man with luggage will say he is Lebanese and needs €40 to change his flight… being a regular traveler and too nice and thinking I would want someone to help me in the same situation! I helped him out only to be told 5 mins later at security that he is a scammer and has a house in Nice and stays in a hotel at the airport!! My good deed turned sour… watch out for this terminal 2F.

    • James

      Scammer at Charles de Gaulle (terminal 2F) is still going strong on 18 June 2018: Remarkably, he did not change his story. Says: I am Lebanese, live in Nice. The bank has blocked my card so I have no money to book my next flight. I have been begging for money for 1 hr, I cannot believe it, nobody will help me. Could you please do something to save my life? I would be so grateful. He asked for 30 euros. I said that I would not quite save his life by giving him money, but still ended up lending him £10, handing over my details so that he could pay it back. It seems like I might wait for a long time. Serves me right for being a decent human being.

  15. Anon

    Problem is that local police are part of the problem. In their eyes it’s ok to fleece tourists, as it means locals will be left alone.

    Paris is a great city, but the vermin that ply their scams show what a serious lack of care the authorities have for their foreign guests.

    • Paul may

      I’m in Lille for a short stay and it’s the tourists I see who are the problem. No locals I’ve seen hand cash over – they’re wise to the scams. It’s the tourists who hand the money over, much to the annoyance of the local traders and police.

  16. Anna

    Came to Paris for a day trip with my family, and we were scammed for 70€ 20 minutes off of the train. As soon as we walked up to a metro machine to buy tickets, a woman in uniform approached us and asked if we needed help. She did not speak very much English, but we were able to communicate that we wanted 4 all day Metro tickets, two for me and my husband and two for my children. The woman was very fast with the machine, she quickly navigated us to a screen that said it would cost us 70€ for the tickets we wanted. We were unaccustomed to the prices in the metro, my husband had been to Paris before on a business trip but had only purchased a one-way ticket for himself at the time. The woman indicated that my husband should insert his credit card, however after he did she told us that it would not work because it was not a French credit card. Honestly, I am amazed at myself for not seeing something was wrong right there. However, the woman said she would use her credit card and we could pay her back, which, stupidly, is exactly what we did, she headed us four metro tickets and my husband gave her 70€. We thanked her and walked away. Thankfully one of the tickets was being finicky in the machine, so we went to the ticket office to get it to work, where the man informed us that we were holding 4 one-way tickets for children ages 9 and under, not all day tickets for adults and children 12 and up like we thought. The tickets we had probably cost about 5€. If we had used those, we could have been caight and fined heavily. We ended up buying the correct tickets from the ticket office, which costed us only 20€, not 70€. Lesson learned, don’t trust anyone in the subway, even those in uniform who may seem like they have good intentions, especially if they approach you and not the other way around. If you are unfamiliar with the metro, go to someone who is behind glass at the ticket office to purchase the tickets. Don’t assume you are immune to any sort of scam, the people behind them are well practiced and quick. Families should be especially careful. Although that experience left a bad taste in our mouths, we still had a nice day in Paris with our kids.

  17. Ano

    This happened to me today actually! I was at one of the big tourist attractions with my family and while walking down the stairs I was left along and a man came up to me ,shook my hand ,and asked me where I came from. He started putting something on my finger and said that in Africa it was some sort of tradition? I didn’t know what he was saying because my family got me out of there before he did anything. I’m glad that I know all this stuff now so I know what to do.

  18. Toro

    Oh man, reading this makes me nervous..Our family is going to Paris on October, so this really helped

    • Peter levy

      We were in France for a couple of days in May 2018 , you just ignore the gypsies with petitions they didn’t persist, saw the three boxes and ball in action exactly as described,the other slight con was leaving the airport we were a bit lost as to which train and a english speaking frenchman assured us and a few other in same situation we were on the right train which we were, he then asked for donation but didn’t hassle

  19. Andrew

    In Paris just today and say a new one at Sacre Coeur. I’ve seen this in Hollywood before, but this is a little less suspect. A person will walk up to you dressed as something – in my case is was a headless man (very obviously a man with a button-up buttoned over his head). He will come up an attempt to shake your hand, then use a hand signal to have a photo with him in costume. After, he will demand compensation. This also leaves you vulnerable to having your phone stolen or being pick pocketed, although I never personally saw it.

  20. Carl Levitt

    French Bank ATM Scam – the real bank ATMs ask you to accept a conversion rate about 4-5% above the actual rate, assuming yo will agree, thinking you have no choice. Touch the “Decline” button to complete the transaction at a normal ATM rate.

  21. Hoàng

    I had a vocation holiday in Paris for a week travel around Germany, Holland, Begulm and France. We stayed in Paris for 2 days. One visited The Place de la Concorde, the woman look like a gypsy asked me: do you speak english? I said: yes. She gave me a papper and asked me: Can you sign here sir. I anwsered: No. What kind of this trick, if i signed in this papper?


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