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Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

Ampang, Malaysia
Level Contributor
12 posts
120 reviews
92 helpful votes
Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

We were walking along Champs Elysees when suddenly I heard something dropped. Out of reflex, I looked at what it was and immediately this old gypsy lady came and rambled about the ring etc. I read about this scam on TA so I ignored her and continued on my way. She just stopped in her tracks. My husband actually saw her throwing the ring down but I was too preoccupied with the sights that I didn't notice her.

Funny thing was that when we walked the same way again later, she did that again to another lady but she too, liked us, ignored her.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
6,859 posts
27 reviews
72 helpful votes
1. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

Well done!

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris, Montreal
Level Contributor
20,729 posts
178 reviews
240 helpful votes
2. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

Ring droppers are easy to ignore, it is good to know about this in advance though so thanks for posting. If anyone is wondering -- a ring is dropped in order to then pretend like a "gold" ring's been found and a nominal sum is asked for it.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
5 posts
30 reviews
22 helpful votes
3. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

Hello,

We have just returned from our Paris Anniversary trip.

It happened to us as well on the Champs-Elysees.

I wanted to approach a bench while a bunch of men were coming from the right.

all of a sudden I saw a golden ring on the ground and one of the guys shot to the spot and grabbed it and then offered it to my husband who immediately said no and waved his hand. Me being aware that this is a golden ring and I found it, took it and hold firmly onto it.

Then the guy started to say in FRench that he is hungry and needs money and then he hit my arm and came very close onto me when I then gave him back his ring but I was really very shocked and could not stop thinking about it all day. feel very relieved that it is a common scam and I wont fall for it again! Thanks for your postings, you made my day. Claudia

Edited: 12 years ago
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
39,783 posts
113 reviews
96 helpful votes
4. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

I took it to see how it would play out -- years ago when this happened to me -- when I handed it back when she started the 'beg', I got a lot of tude -- shaming tone of voice 'oo la la, muhdaaaammmm'

my favorite part was the 'ring is too small for me, but you are so petite' (I probably towered over her by a foot)

I do have some sympathy for people trying to eke out a living and so do tip buskers when they improve my day e.g. the violinist at opera, the saxaphonists who play on key, the opera singer at Sacre Couer -- etc and I am reconsidering my attitude towards the flower sellers but not there yet.

australia
Level Contributor
3,294 posts
6 reviews
4 helpful votes
5. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

Question, are the rings used in this scam of any value ? I mean are they trashy, buy them by the hundreds from a 'cheap' store type, or they perhaps of some value and possibly obtained illegally, leaving one open to riisk 'being in possession of stolen goods' charges if you did (give some money to) retain the ring.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
111,206 posts
17 reviews
20 helpful votes
6. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

They are valueless: brass with thin gold plate, I believe.

In any case, as they belong to the person who pretends to find them, there can't be theft if that person gives/sells the ring to another person.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
6,859 posts
27 reviews
72 helpful votes
7. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

The rings are all the same: a fat, plain band that appears to be made of brass (it doesn't look like gold at all). They probably buy them by the ton from importers, just as the illegal street vendors around the Eiffel Tower and elsewhere buy tiny Eiffel Towers by the ton from China.

Australia
Level Contributor
495 posts
93 reviews
69 helpful votes
8. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

<<<my favorite part was the 'ring is too small for me, but you are so petite' (I probably towered over her by a foot)>>>

Ours was midwinter near the Eiffel Tower with no one around and trying to take a photo in the early morning. My husband is 6'6" tall and had 2 feet over our gypsy. That said, the ring was HUGE, and he's a big man! It would have swam on his finger and fallen to the ground!! We tried to go and she was so insistent. We eventually told her no no, YOU keep it, she kept saying Bon Chance. No, Vous Bon Chance! She kept on, and when we said we had a good idea, we would find a gendarme, she decided she would leave us be to take our photo.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
39,783 posts
113 reviews
96 helpful votes
9. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

the one ring I handled was a plain large brass looking ring -- didn't look to be of any value but a friend of mine who does house exchanges did tip a couple Euro for one and was able to sell it for 15$ -- she makes jewelry and so has a sales outlet and included it among the things she was selling and someone bought it -- I didn't see hers to know if it was a superior ring to the one I saw -- must have been

I wanted an Eiffel Tower keychain as a Christmas ornament -- so I bought one from one of the guys hawking towers at the Louvre -- 3 small keychains of low quality (fine for ornament, not tough enough for a key ring) for 1 Euro

the big blue marble
Level Contributor
17,556 posts
50 reviews
90 helpful votes
10. Re: Gold Ring Scam at Champs Elysees

When I was offered a gold ring, I had nit yet heard if the scam in TA. When I saw the ring the man had 'found' I was very sad fir the person who had lost their ring. So sorry, I recommended we head to the nearest police station to hand it in for lost and found Not surprisingly he disappeared before I knew what had happened, which is hiw I realized it was a scam.

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