13 Frequent Cons & Keep away from Them (2023)

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Scams in Paris are throughout social media. There isn’t any day with out a report of somebody who received pickpocketed, purchased a false metro ticket, or misplaced his journey price range in a crooked betting sport.

It’s scary and if you’re questioning if Paris can be a secure vacation spot to journey to, you aren’t alone. And fact be advised, I genuinely perceive it. There’s nothing worse than feeling weak, particularly if you find yourself already exterior your consolation zone.

That’s why I created this information for you. Paris is total not a harmful location, and should you know concerning the widespread scams and methods to keep away from them, you might be considerably lowering the chance of turning into a sufferer. Therefore, on this article, I current you with probably the most annoying and frequent scams, so what to be careful for.

Restaurant in Paris with Haussmann Buildings in the background
Paris, how it is best to get pleasure from it

CHECKLIST to your Paris Journey

Scams in Paris: Is it actually that dangerous?

I don’t know if it’s a post-pandemic plague, an inflated impression resulting from social media, or if there are actually that many scammers and thieves in Paris. However it’s an indisputable fact that many vacationers and Parisians alike get taken benefit of each day.

Nonetheless, don’t fear about violent assaults and robberies. Typical scams in Paris embrace discrete thefts, inventive cons, and swindles, however nothing that may hurt you bodily. It’s annoying and a complete bummer, but, you’ll be able to defend your self.

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This being mentioned, Paris is just not extra of a scammers’ paradise than elsewhere. When you find yourself touring to a metropole, you’ll be able to make certain that scammers and thieves are already there ready for you. Paris isn’t any completely different, regardless that it’s usually a reasonably secure metropolis.

Learn on for some recommendations on methods to keep away from turning into a sufferer of scammers and swindlers in Paris.

Additionally learn: 15 errors you shouldn’t make when visiting Paris

Champs Élysées is a place where you easiyl can get scammed in Paris
Well-liked vacationer locations just like the Champs-Élysées are vulnerable to scams

The place do you discover probably the most scammers in Paris?

Most scams in Paris occur within the vacationer hotspots: The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Disneyland, and the Champs Élysée. Nonetheless, rip-off artists are working as effectively on markets, bars, and, in fact, on public transportation.

For more information on the place to be careful for which rip-off, test the 13 most typical Paris scams under.

Tourist traps in Paris - Paris scams are happening daily, know how to protect yourself

The commonest Paris vacationer scams and methods to keep away from them

Scammers are annoying, and a stolen cellphone can simply spoil your journey. Not to mention a stolen pockets together with your papers in it. Your finest tactic to keep away from turning into a sufferer of a con artist is to learn about their tips, to learn, and know what to be careful for.

Listed below are probably the most frequent scams and swindles you need to be conscious of when touring to Paris:

#1 Paris Rip-off: Pickpockets

A metropole basic and, in fact, no stranger to Paris. There are many pickpockets in Paris and tons of issues are stolen on daily basis, however don’t get paranoid and consider that everybody desires to steal from you.

Pickpockets are often in crowded areas and in locations the place persons are distracted: public transportation, vacationer sights, bars, markets, theme parks… you identify it.

How to avoid pickpockets in Paris Metro. It's not one of the Paris tourist scams, as everybody can become a victim
Pickpockets within the Parisian Metro

The most effective recommendation to keep away from being a sufferer of theft is: pay attention to your issues and your environment, don’t get distracted, hold your valuables shut. Pickpockets should not violent, they’re discrete scammers which are trying to find the event, slightly than creating one.

NEW pickpocket scheme within the Parisian Metro:

Since this yr, there are various stories from vacationers that received pickpocketed within the metro by a bunch of ladies. They create a state of affairs of pushing and jostling when coming into the Metro, their palms hidden behind a bag or a jacket. They steal a cellphone or a pockets and go it shortly on to a different woman, who removes the money.

Humorous sufficient, they usually return the pockets to the proprietor earlier than shortly leaving the Metro on the subsequent station.

The place are you prone to getting pickpocketed? Sadly in every single place, however primarily round vacationer sights, markets, transport, and crowded areas.

keep away from it? Care for your belongings, pay attention to your environment, and have your objects safely saved. Don’t retailer cash or different valuables in simply accessible pockets.

How to use Paris Metr0
The Metro is a well-liked place the place vacationers get pickpocketed

#2 Cell Telephone Theft in Metros

This can be a extremely popular rip-off within the Metros that occurs on daily basis, loads of occasions—to locals and vacationers alike. Whereas driving the Metro, most passengers are checking their telephones; studying the information, looking Fb, or enjoying video games.

Being off guard and distracted, you received’t discover the individual casually strolling by the service. And – simply when the alarm declares that the doorways will shut and the Metro is about to depart the station – grabbing your cellphone and operating off with it.

The doorways are closed, your cellphone is gone, and also you’ve received no likelihood to catch the thief.

The easiest way to keep away from it’s clearly not utilizing your cellphone on the Metro. Particularly if you’re standing or sitting near the doorways. Nonetheless, personally, I usually do use my cellphone when driving the Metro and I received slightly cellular phone grip hooked up to the again of my cellphone to have a greater maintain and grip on it.

The place to search out this rip-off? In public transportation.

keep away from it? Don’t use your cellphone, and don’t get distracted.

Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris - Train from airport to Paris or bus from airport to Paris

#3 Faux Taxis at Airports and Practice stations

Whenever you arrive in Paris by aircraft, you can be approached by somebody within the arrivals space asking should you want a taxi or a non-public driver to Paris. Likelihood is that you simply do certainly, and the way fortunate you might be to have discovered one instantly. Don’t ever take a journey besides from the official taxi stands.

Learn extra: 5 methods to get from Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris – THE full information!

Even when these guys will almost certainly ship the service they provide, they’re NOT authentic taxi drivers. In France, it’s prohibited for drivers to method prospects and each time somebody asks should you want a journey, they’re appearing in opposition to the regulation.

And most vital; they cost you no matter they need and often, it’s outrageously excessive. Simply stroll by, ignore them, or politely decline the provide.

Fake Taxis in Paris - Taxi scam in Paris
At all times guarantee that taxis in Paris have this gentle on their roof

Official taxis settle for friends on the indicated taxi stands (simply observe the indicators), have a light-weight on the roof of their automobile, and can cost you a fastened value into city. (between €55 and €62 from CDG, and €35 and €34 from Orly)

Should you would slightly not journey public transportation upon arrival or are uncertain about discovering a taxi, you may also rent a non-public driver earlier than your journey. Relying in your get together measurement, it may be even cheaper than a daily taxi. Click on right here to see all affords and availabilities.

The place to search out this rip-off? In airports and practice stations, it could possibly occur somewhere else, too.

keep away from it? Don’t settle for a journey from somebody who’s approaching you.

Good to know! Most scammers in Paris are a part of an even bigger group and barely act alone.

  • If somebody asks you to signal a petition, and also you give them some cash, their confederate may observe the scene and steal your pockets later, now figuring out the place you saved it.
  • Should you hear an announcement on the Metro that pickpockets are round, don’t test in case your pockets remains to be as an alternative. Somebody may observe the platform for precisely this gesture to search out out the place you’re preserving it. 

#4 The Faux Petition Scams in Paris

The faux petition rip-off is a straightforward one. An individual with a clipboard and a ballpoint pen asks you to signal a petition. Should you signal, they’ll then ask you for cash to assist a charity, which they’ll pocket for themselves. These folks could be very persistent, following you till you give them one thing to make them go away.

Typically they may encompass you, look in your pockets and strain you into giving extra.

However alas, that’s not all. The petition-bearer is often a part of a gang of pickpockets who will swipe your pockets or cell phone while you’re distracted by the petition. Even when they don’t do it instantly, they’ll know which pocket you retain your pockets in, making it simpler for them to focus on you in a while.

Carousel Montmartre with Sacre Coeur
The customarily crowded stairs in Montmartre are a well-liked spot for scammers

I took a strolling tour of Paris and our tour information drew our consideration to those scammers exterior the Louvre however mentioned that you may spot them everywhere in the capital.

The place to search out this rip-off?  Round all well-liked vacationer locations, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Montmartre. I additionally noticed them on the Palais Garnier.

keep away from it?  The best option to keep away from these scammers is simply to say no, repeating as many occasions as is important or ignoring them altogether.

Skilled by Jenny from Cruise Mummy

#5 The Paris Ring Rip-off

The creators of Wandering Wheatleys skilled this rip-off:

My husband and I have been strolling alongside the river close to Notre Dame on a chilly December afternoon in Paris when a person sped previous after which bent down to choose one thing up proper in entrance of us. He stopped us with a smile, so we might admire what he’d simply discovered mendacity on the sidewalk: a gold ring with an inscription of 18k!

We smiled and advised him congratulations on the fortunate discover (however unhappy for whoever misplaced it) and began off once more on our stroll.

He stopped us as soon as once more to point out us his try to put the ring on his finger – sadly it didn’t match him. He had me stick out my hand, so he might strive it on and what are you aware, it match like a glove. Lastly, he gestured to me that I might have it and I believed “wow, what a pleasant man!”, nonetheless fully oblivious to the rip-off.

The River Banks in Paris: Seine
Pickpockets should not stopping on the museum’s doorways – at all times hold a detailed eye in your belongings.

We began to stroll away once more, me with my newfound treasure, when he stopped us as soon as once more, this time to request a small fee for his generosity – “simply €10 to purchase a sandwich”. My husband and I gave one another a figuring out look – we’d simply been had.

We tried to return the ring, however he insisted that we hold it. We ended up giving him €2 and preserving the ring as a memento of our first (and hopefully solely) Parisian rip-off.

The place to search out this rip-off?  Round all well-liked vacationer locations, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Montmartre…

keep away from it?  Just by figuring out about this rip-off and never accepting the ring.

#6 Friendship Bracelets Rip-off in Montmartre

Visiting Montmartre is a must-do in Paris. In case you are fascinated about studying extra about Paris, this can be a terrific place to take action, because it’s house to a few of the most well-known French landmarks. As you head up there, ensure you keep alert because it’s recognized to be a spot with many scammers.

Scammers in Montmartre
Scammers in Montmartre

One of the widespread scams takes place on the Sacre Coeur. When you resolve the steps, you’ll discover that lots of people are wandering round with bracelets. They are going to method you to attempt to promote one among these bracelets. Up to now there may be nothing mistaken with this nonetheless it’s the way in which it’s finished that’s questionable.

They are often very persistent, and earlier than it, they tied the bracelet round your wrist. The one option to take away it now could be by chopping it, which implies you’re left with no different selection than to pay for it.

Friendship Bracelet Scam in Paris - an easy tourist trap in Paris and you should not fall for this scam in Paris
they put that bracelet faster round your wrist than you understand! A typical rip-off in Paris

The place to search out this rip-off?  In Montmartre, totally on the underside of the steps at Sacre Coeur.

keep away from it? The easiest way to keep away from it’s to control folks with bracelets of their palms. In the event that they attempt to come nearer, be certain to stroll away and never give your hand or arm. As a lot as you’re going to strive, they often handle to place it on with out you actually noticing.

If that occurs to you, one of the best ways out of this case is to satisfy them midway. Give them 1 euro (not more than that) and name it a day. By doing that, you’ll handle to get them to depart you in peace while not dropping an excessive amount of cash. As a lot as you’ll be able to argue the truth that you shouldn’t be paying in any respect, it’ll in all probability not be well worth the argument, annoyance, and waste of time.

submitted by BeeLoved Metropolis

Higher secure than sorry: don’t place your bag on a chair subsequent to you

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#7 The “Poor Fellow Drops some Gadgets” Entice

This nasty rip-off occurred to a good friend of mine whereas driving the practice from the airport into city. Whereas sitting there minding her personal enterprise, a person walked by and dropped – seemingly by accident – a field with small objects. Just a few knick-knack that unfold everywhere in the service ground.

My good friend went, in fact, forward and helped him choose up his belongings. Whereas she was doing so, an confederate stole her purse that she left unattended for a minute whereas serving to.

The place to search out this rip-off? On trains, nevertheless it might be wherever else as effectively.

keep away from it? Don’t ever depart your belongings unattended.

Never leave your purse or Jacket unattended in Restaurants and Bars! It is a common scam in Paris to pickpocket
By no means depart your purse or Jacket unattended in Eating places and Bars!

#8 The Con(e) Recreation Paris Rip-off

As you might be strolling round a few of Paris’ well-known websites, you will notice many road acts and road performances occurring. Some are real folks making an attempt to earn an sincere wage, however be cautious as there may be one specific trick that may be a well-known rip-off.

You will notice one man, with three cups and a ball beneath. We noticed this a number of occasions proper beneath the Eiffel Tower, a spot crowded with vacationers, and the scammers know that vacationers have cash to splash.

The trick appears simple, as the one who retains enjoying and playing losses their cash each time to the host. What folks don’t understand is that their 6–8 onlookers making a scene are all a part of the gang.

The most popular tourist trap in Paris - shell games at the Eiffel Tower
Simply hold strolling, don’t present curiosity – in any other case, you’ll probably lose your trip funds

The one option to keep away from it’s to simply stroll on and never even make eye contact with anybody across the sport. They are going to see your curiosity in what’s going on and attempt to lure you in. We tried to cease anyone from playing their cash as we shortly picked up what was occurring, however 2 members of the gang shoved us away and adopted us out of the park to make sure we didn’t trigger them grief.

The place to search out this rip-off? Near the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero

keep away from it? Don’t play as a result of you’ll definitely lose.

Manpreet Ok from Your Vegan Journey

#9 Low-cost Entrance Ticket Rip-off in Paris

You discover this swindle in Paris usually near exhibitions, truthful trades, live shows, public transport stations, and occasions.

It’s fairly easy: somebody approaches you and affords an occasion ticket for a less expensive value.  Usually these tickets are purchased as group tickets which are cheaper in a bundle, generally the tickets are simply counterfeit or concerning Metro Tickets – already used. In any case – don’t purchase something if not from a sound supply.

The place to search out this rip-off? Doubtlessly in every single place.

keep away from it? Don’t purchase something from strangers which are approaching you and providing a seemingly whole lot.

Cheap tickets to sights are usually a scam
regardless of how tempting the deal – don’t settle for supposedly low-cost tickets to sights! It’s a rip-off!

Skilled by Deb from The Visa Mission

When doing TESOL coaching in Spain, I visited Paris various occasions and got here throughout gullible vacationers being approached by scammers. Whereas I used to be capable of escape the gold ring or rose scams, a good friend and I received ripped off at a gelato store close to Montmartre artist sq..

We had been strolling round all day and made a snap determination of purchase a few cones and two cokes. And made the error of not even checking the worth. Whereas often, gelatos price 5 {dollars} or so, the cashier quoted us fifty euros.

facts about paris food: don't ask to substitute items on a menu
At all times be certain to see the costs on menues

We tried to purpose with him in damaged French, however he merely shrugged and we needed to pay. So, a menu with out a value is a strict no. Variations to this rip-off are providing you with a particular “vacationer menu” with a lot greater costs, providing you with change in cash that aren’t euros or charging you for objects you didn’t order.

The place to search out this rip-off? in vacationer areas

keep away from it? At all times test the menu earlier than ordering – they’re often displayed exterior the bar/restaurant.

#11 Tuk-Tuk rides with Hidden Charges

Exploring a metropolis in a tuk-tuk is all enjoyable and video games, that’s for positive. However to be on the secure facet, at all times prepare your journey upfront by a reliable firm. As a result of as soon as in Paris, you’ll discover TukTuks which are ready in entrance of the well-known sights.

Irrespective of how tempting it is likely to be to take the event to get shortly and simply to your subsequent sightseeing level, don’t do it. Whereas the tuk-tuk will almost certainly carry you to your vacation spot, the worth retains a pricey shock.

Most of the time, the driving force will present you upon arrival slightly byline on his pricing sheet that the price is per individual, not per journey. After all, when accepting the journey, the byline is hidden behind a bit of paper and there may be not a mutter about this vital element.

The place to search out this rip-off? in vacationer areas

keep away from it? Don’t take a tuk-tuk

How to use the Metro in Paris - Tips and Tricks
Purchase your tickets on the machines or on the counter

#12 Expired Tickets on the Metro Station

This appears to be a reasonably new rip-off in 2023, so higher be careful for it. I acquired fairly a number of stories from vacationers that received scammed when trying to purchase tickets on the ticket merchandising machines in a Metro station.

The rip-off goes like this: An individual who seems like an official resulting from their lanyard approaches you on the machines. For one purpose or one other, they may aid you purchase your ticket. Once in a while, they request money as an alternative of bank card funds. Nonetheless, they may hand you out a ticket, claiming it’s a day ticket or a vacationer ticket, whereas actually, it’s a easy one–approach ticket that you simply paid €20 for.

You’ll discover the error solely approach later as a result of the ticket the individual palms you’ll open the turnstiles and allow you to journey the Metro. However solely as soon as.

The place to search out this rip-off? In Metro stations

keep away from it? Purchase your tickets solely your self or on the counter.

Paris Metro ticket
That’s how single journey tickets look in Paris: The paper model will section out within the 2nd half of 2023 although

#13 “Ideas are required in France” Rip-off

Tipping in Paris might be one of many subjects, that stirs up probably the most controversy on social media. Firstly: Tipping is NOT compulsory in France, and neither is it totally impolite to not tip, however it’s appreciated, in fact.

Waiters earn minimal wage like many different workers in Paris and should not paid by ideas like within the US, for instance. If you wish to tip, greatl, however 10% is greater than beneficiant.

Now concerning the rip-off. Some waiters in vacationer areas attempt to reap the benefits of vacationers from international locations with a giant tipping tradition. As a substitute of simply letting you permit a tip or not, as you please, they may outright ask you: how a lot tip do you wish to add? Some even go forward and add the tip on to the invoice.

Should you act shocked, they may attempt to make you consider that tipping is customary in Paris and you might be anticipated to take action. It’s not. Level.

Best arrondissement in Paris
Ideas should not required in France, however appreciated

Good to know: You may discover “service included” or “service compris” written in your invoice. This doesn’t imply that part of your invoice goes to the server and tipping is pointless.

Additionally good to know: Should you see TVA % in your invoice, it isn’t an try to rip-off you to depart a tip. It’s the tax that’s included in your total invoice, and that the restaurant has to pay to the state.

3 widespread points within the Metro which are NOT a rip-off

Scams are a difficulty in Paris, however not each mishap is a rip-off. I usually come throughout stories from vacationers that depart Paris with the bitter style of feeling scammed. They really feel that they received taken benefit of or have been focused. In most of those instances, they merely didn’t play by the foundations as a result of they didn’t know higher.

To forestall you from experiencing the identical, listed here are 3 widespread issues vacationers face, that aren’t a rip-off.

#1 Getting fined for having the mistaken ticket in Metros

Should you don’t have the proper Metro ticket when being managed, you’ll have to pay a nice, and there’s no option to get round this. They won’t take heed to your excuse, don’t care if you’re a vacationer, and they won’t be empathetic together with your particular state of affairs.

This is applicable in case your ticket requires a photograph and your identify, and also you didn’t add it, should you purchased the mistaken fare, and in addition, should you trash your ticket earlier than leaving the station. The controllers should not focusing on vacationers, they aim everybody.

#2 Getting fined for having your toes on the seat

In case you are on a practice, a Metro, or a bus and your toes contact one of many seats, you’ll have to pay a nice. It’s in opposition to the foundations of transportation and right here once more, it’s not focusing on vacationers, it’s simply the way in which it’s.

Many people feel scammed by the Parisian metro
An extended day sightseeing? Don’t calm down on the practice together with your toes up

#3 Asking you to pay a nice in money

Should you get caught with out a ticket or your toes on the seat, you’ll be able to pay your nice on the spot, even in money. They don’t seem to be pocketing it, it’s simply one of many methods how one can pay your nice.

They are going to in all probability let you know to both pay €35 now, or €65 later. This neither is a rip-off. The quantity of the nice rises the longer you await the fee.

Fast Ideas: keep away from falling for Paris Scams?

It relies upon, in fact, on the type of rip-off, however as a normal guideline, attempt to observe these ideas:

  • Don’t get distracted in crowded locations. Typical conditions are when exiting the Metro or in search of a road or a constructing. Know the place it’s good to go beforehand, test your itineraries, and if you’re uncertain, discover a extra quiet place to test your map than the Metro platform.
  • Maintain your luggage closed. I do know that appears like apparent, however you’ll by no means consider how many individuals I see on daily basis in Paris that aren’t closing their luggage correctly.
  • Ignore everybody that approaches you randomly. That is simply by no means occurring with out a malicious purpose. Fairly often, this individual’s sole job is to distract you, whereas their confederate is stealing your issues.
  • Don’t depart your bag or cellphone on the desk or seat subsequent to you. Particularly (however not solely!) when consuming/consuming exterior. (when I’m with a backpack or ought to bag, I often put it on the bottom or seat however loop the shoulder strap round a leg of the chair or my arm)
  • Don’t settle for something from strangers. No rose, no ring, no ticket.

Voilà, these are the commonest scams in Paris that it is best to learn about. However please don’t get paranoid about this. It’s probably you’ll not see and listen to any of this, however get pleasure from Paris to the fullest. Simply be mindful to not settle for rides, don’t purchase from strangers, and ensure your valuables are safely saved.

Bon voyage !

Lena Paristipps

I’ve lived in Paris since 2005, and I’m blissful to point out you round. Be a part of me on Fb for updates and information about Paris.

PS: Try these posts, they may aid you plan your journey to Paris

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Scams in Paris to avoid

FAQ: Paris Scams

What scams to be careful for in Paris?

The commonest vacationer scams in Paris are pickpockets, faux petition scams, bracelet scams, and the favored cone sport.

keep away from Vacationer Scams in Paris?

The easiest way to keep away from vacationer scams in Paris is to be alert and attentive to your surrounding, and to not have interaction with strangers who’re approaching you on the road. Be sure to keep knowledgeable about costs and instructions, so that you seem assured in public.

How do I defend myself from Paris pickpockets?

Maintain your valuables shut and ensure your bag could be closed by a zipper. Don’t put on your pockets simply accessible. Should you occur to be in a crowd, maintain your bag tied and don’t get distracted.

What crimes are in opposition to vacationers in France?

The commonest crimes are petty theft like scams and pickpockets. Vacationers don’t must concern being violently attacked or robbed.

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