Paris Scam Caught on Camera

Before traveling to Paris we had read about countless scams that people try on tourists, but not giving it any real thought. However, they are real and these scams in Paris will likely be tried on you. How do I know? Well, let’s just say we had a few run-ins with the scammers.

The gold ring scam

First of all, I’m insulted. Insulted that some scammer thought I was stupid enough looking to try this ridiculous scam on.

This scam goes like this: a stranger will walk near you and bend over and pretend to pick up a gaudy oversize gold ring. Then as they stand up they will ask you if you dropped the ring. This is a distraction. They are really just going to try and rob you. Either the same guy our another person they are working with.

Paris France Ring Scam caught on camera-2

Here is how it attempted on us. I was taking a time lapse of the Arc de Triumph with my DSLR on a tripod while I held on to the strap loosely. About halfway through my 150 picture time-lapse, this idiot walks up and bends over in front of me.

Paris France Ring Scam caught on camera-3
Note the large gold ring in his hand. The picture is slightly fuzzy because I had the camera set to give the traffic a slight blur in my time lapse.

In his hand is the widest fakest looking ring I have ever seen. I can see it in his hand as he stands up before he even starts his scam I tell him to get the fuck out of here. I am pissed because he’s ruining my time-lapse and wasting five minutes of my life. Now I have to start over from the first picture. He wasn’t too happy that I called him out and told him to fuck off. On the positive, I caught this idiot on my time lapse and have picture proof of the event.

Paris France Ring Scam caught on camera-4
His response: “Me? Why Fuck me?” in a heavy non-french accent

Part of me wanted to see what he was going to do next. He clearly isn’t the fittest man that was going to grab my camera and outrun me. Even before he walked up I had a tight grip on the strap of my camera, which only tightened in his presence. Hannah was a bit more nervous and grab the camera and tripod while I continued to yell at him. So I guess we will never know what would’ve happened!

Beware of the ring scam in Paris and this chubby scammer!

When visiting Paris research what scams are common for the part of town your specific Paris hotel is located in. Click here to read our where to stay in Paris guide that explains each area of town. Better safe than sorry, now travel safely.

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27 thoughts on “Paris Scam Caught on Camera”

  1. I cant believe this! I was in Paris last spring standing exactly where you were standing and guess who found a gold ring in the street just below the curb… that same douche! I would never forget his face. I wasn’t aware of this scam, but I knew something was fishy and I knew there are a ton of pickpockets in Paris so my wallet and valuables were as close to me as possible.

    He asked if it was my ring and I told him no and said he was lucky to find it. He walked away as I kept looking at the Arc. He came back seconds later trying to sell me the ring, but I refused. He kept shaking my hand trying to get my copper magnetic bracelet off, but he couldn’t figure it out. Then he just gave me the ring and walked off. Only to come back asking for money. I gave him the 1 euro I had with me. He kept trying to get more so I told him to fuck off. Had to tell him a few times before he walked away. I think he knew by talking to me I wasn’t going to take his mess and he would end up with his head split on the concrete if he kept bugging me.

    One strategy I used for keeping my wallet safe is to put it in my front pocket and twist the pocket before I button up. Then put the wallet near your junk. No body will get to your wallet without you knowing.

    Thanks for posting this. Kind of made me happy to see his face again.

  2. Of all our trips to Europe I have only encountered thieves twice: both in Barcelona, both on the subway, and within a few days of each other.
    The first was rather simple- one guy put a big map under my chin and asked how to get to a stop along that subway line. While we were talking another guy reached in my pocket; I grabbed his arm and shouted. The subway car erupted and the two fled.
    In the second one, a guy stood at the door of the car saying we couldn’t enter that car. While we were stopped another guy reached in my pocket. I again shouted. This time the guy preventing us from entering dropped a wallet in the subway car and they both took off. The wallet he held belonged to a couple who were then standing outside the car. They were able to get on in time so we could give them their wallet.

  3. Hey there,
    I follow you on twitter and facebook, and this article caught my eye, I really appreciate this, I will be in Europe all summer with my kids and I want to know as much as possible. I will be in London, but we are going to try to get to Paris. However… a big city is a big city right? Thank you!
    Tammy

  4. While in Paris I had an old woman approach me with a gold ring in her hand. I laughed and just kept walking but I was thinking, so it isn’t a myth, the scam is for real. Ha! And a few days later I saw a young couple with a ring trying to scam someone. Really bold. It’s really quite sad though that we have to be so aware when we travel.

  5. These guys ruin this beautiful city! Why can’t they all just go find somewhere else to ruin! It’s deplorable, but thank you for writing about it to make sure everyone knows what to avoid. Bonne journee!

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