Street Scams in Paris


As world capitals go, Paris is a reasonably secure city – but there’ll always be somebody looking for the gullible visitor. Some scams are as old as the hills – such as ‘three card ‘monte’ or (or three nut shells), expertly shuffled to the point where no one but the shuffler and his accomplice knows where the real prize lies: in your pocket!

But I thought I’d mention the ‘gold wedding ring scam’ which seems to be big in the Montparnasse area. In the past year, my husband has found at least two 18k gold wedding rings in the gutter. Either there’s a lot of disgruntled spouses in the neighborhood – or perhaps these supposedly gold rings are somewhat less than 18K.

Our suspicions were confirmed this weekend, when, right on the corner of Montparnasse Boulevard and Rue du Depart, a guy picks up a gold ring right at our feet, and proclaims in English, “Oh my God!”
That’s as far as he got with his spiel – because we recognized the ring as identical to the two my husband had already discovered as discarded rings – not worth the metal they purported to be.

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If we had fallen for his opening exclamation, he might have suggested that we ‘take the ring off his hands’ for whatever reason for a small sum, because for whatever reason he wouldn’t be able to sell the ring himself (or find the rightful owner, etc, etc).

If you know a Paris street scam, be sure to share it with us!