Gold Ring Scam, Paris
I am unsure how best to describe this - other than young people (men and woman) are walking near to you, then bend down and ask if you have dropped a gold ring. It tends to be a gold band, thick, large and possibly heavy.
I have never acknowledged that the ring could be mine, so after this the person seems to move on.
Unique Suggestions: If this happens to you, you will be just as well to say no thank you it is not your ring. They then move onwards.
While visiting Paris, specially the center around the Eiffel Tower, pay attention for sure to pickpockets but also to people (usually young girls) dressed like homeless, you can pretty much tell they are not French.
Usually one of those girls walks your direction and suddenly she spots something on the floor and she takes it, then she comes to you with a huge yellow ring on her hand asking you if this is gold or no, and pretending she found that on the floor.
Don't even talk to them, they will show you the ring, but the ring isn't gold at all and the meaning of that is just eventually sell it to you.
Those rings are just fake and no gold at all.
Just walk away and don't even bother.
Beware of the Gold Ring Scam in Paris. What happens is you'll be walking along, someone behind you will have picked up a "gold" ring and ask if it's yours. Of course, for being the bearer of such good tidings they expect a bit of cash. I've heard in some instances of a male scam artist accosting people IF he doesn't get any money (or what he considers to be enough money).
I met a guy while standing in the line at CDG who came across the ring scam 5 times in one day (all around the Louvre, he said).
I found that I was generally accosted when I was taking photos. All of a sudden I'd hear "bonne chance, BONNE CHANCE!"; I'd turn around and the spiel would start.
The trip before last was the first time it happened to me. I was walking across the Pont des Arts (near the Louvre, naturellement) taking a photo of the Institut de France. I ended buying a gold ring from the woman for 1.40 euro. She was disappointed but took the money (it was all I had on me since I was on the way to the ATM).
I saw THIS SAME WOMAN again near the Chapelle Expiatoire that same trip but showed her the ring I'd purchased from her; she didn't remember me.
Unique Suggestions: THIS TRIP I saw her AGAIN near rue Jacob (and not too far away from the Louvre). I was taking photos and behind me heard "bonne chance"! She showed me the ring, I pulled out my camera to make like I was taking a photo of THE RING and got a photo of her holding it instead! AHA!! I'd kept the ring from last trip slung onto a strap on my purse and showed it to her saying I'd gotten it from her. She backed away and kept saying "non, non". I don't think she realized I captured a pic of her.
Saw another different lady in Montmartre (dark hair with dark gold streaks, young, pretty) at Place des Abbesses. I was touring with Michael Osman, he saw her out of the corner of his eye, grabbed the strap with the ring and showed it to her so she backed off. Tried to take a photo of her, too, but she moved away too fast and I only got the back of her as she melted into the crowd.
That 1.40 euro was money well spent! ;D
Photos: November 2007
You've been walking around all day, taking in the sights, sweating under your fanny pack. You're a tourist, and you're tired. All you need is a nice refreshing bottle of water...
Well, unless you want to shell out $3-$5 for every 1/2 litre, you're out of luck my fellow traveler! What's with Parisians? Is Evian liquid gold?
Fun Alternatives: Anticipate your thirst. If you're going to be standing in the sun waiting for the Eiffel Tower elevator, buy a bottle of water from one of the vendors walking around (only $1). If you're going to a less touristy area, stop by a grocery store instead of a bar/cafe. You'll save a lot of money, especially in these summer months!