How it works:
- Version 1 (standard): tout asks if if you want a “friendship bracelet” or “friendship ring”. If you say yes, a string/bracelet will be tied so tightly around your wrist/finger that makes it impossible to remove. Money is then demanded.
- Version 2 (magic trick): touts ask if you want to see a magic trick. If you say yes, a string/bracelet will be tied around your wrist or finger.
- Version 3 (targeting couples): touts approach couple and offer a bracelet to the lady for free. If she accepts, another will appear to offer the guy, who is likely to accept thinking it is free. Now, payment will be demanded.
- Version 4 (distract and steal): one ties and distracts, another steals from behind.
Places to beware:
- Florence: Piazza del Duomo
- Genoa: Old Port
- Milan: Piazza del Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Castello Sforzesco, Parco Sempione
- Rome: Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain
- Venice: St. Mark’s Square
What to do:
- Decline and stay away, keep hands hidden in your jacket.