Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scam Alert

It's spring break somewhere and Paris is once again flush with tourists. The bazaar that is the base of the Eiffel Tower is in full swing: lines of visitors waiting their turn to ascend, trinket sellers, ice cream vendors, families with small children who are falling apart, the Roma ladies in long skirts asking "do you speak English." And then there's a new addition to the scene: teenagers armed with paperwork, indicating to you by their gestures that they are deaf-mute and just want you to sign their paper and give a donation. DO NOT BE FOOLED. Yesterday, after waving these girls away and stopping to take a few photos, I noticed that the two deaf-mute girls had sat down on a bench. They were talking to each other, and what's more they weren't even looking at each other.  So by all means, folks, do your part to help the disabled.  But I'd recommend making your donation to a reputable charity.

10 comments:

Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] said...

A few weeks ago I was in Paris, and I had my suitcase because I was flying out to Spain later that night. I got approached by a lot of women asking me if it was my ring on the ground that I had lost. Don't know what they were trying to do, but I later saw them doing it to others! Grr...

Anne said...

Brenna: I've written about the gold ring scam here: http://justanotheramericaninparis.blogspot.com/2008/03/tips-for-tourists.html They want you to buy the ring which is some kind of base metal but stamped 24K. Don't be fooled. One day walking along the quai by the Tuileries, three different people tried this on me.

debbie in toronto said...

Wow the pretend deaf thing is a new low...

Through My Looking Glass said...

I was there in September and had this happen to me in several places. I had the same experience as you - had a seat across from them and watched. They were talking to each other when no one was around! Things that make you go grrr...

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

They should be moving these people on ,.. trinket sellers and beggars ... It just shouldb't be allowed .. it can be so annoying .

Starman said...

If you go anywhere near a tourist attraction in Paris, you will be accosted by these (usually) girls.

eMerly said...

I was there last week, and they were SO aggressive, getting really close and waving their arms in our faces. On our way out one of them threw a map at us because we wouldn't stop and talk. The most annoying ones were during the strikes. Everyone is handing you papers and stickers and they were there with the newspaper that is for homeless people to sell to make a couple dollars. They would hand it to unsuspecting/distracted people and then demand payment. Normally the trinket sellers are aggressive, but this goes way beyond that.

Cynthia said...

A Paris classic, don't look at them or worst give them any kind of reply! When I see tourists getting caught by those scams I try to help them but unfortunately I don't always have time and Police is doing nothing to stop them!

Carina said...

I recently saw a man in a wheelchair stand up and chase after a group of 'deaf' Roma girls. They showed their great vocals and yelled back. Shameful.

Breezy said...

I was in Paris during Thanksgiving week and I was stopped by them coming out of the metro stop onto the street level near the Louvre. I had no idea what was going on and soon they me stopped to sign some paper that said UNICEF on it. I stupidly did so. Then, all of the sudden, I was swarmed by all these women and men. They crowded my personal space. I was happy to see the police on motorcycles scare them away. I was bummed that they tried to take advantage of the kindness of strangers. Sucks!

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