Charlatans in the Act

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    These charlatans operate a phony gambling operation with 3 discs; one with a white square underneath. All 4 plus another guy (not in shot) operate the scam. The switch the discs when your not looking. Just let them play by themselves.

    Believe me they were not very happy with me taking photos! At the first sign of 'trouble' they scamper in the alleyways. The were operating just down from the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris.

    Christian González Verón, stiobhard, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Alex E. Proimos 63 months ago | reply

      From www.ricksteves.com:

      Here is an unusual scam that almost got my husband and me in Rome two years ago:
      We were visiting a local open-air market and happened upon a group of gentlemen who appeared to be friends. They were playing the pea and shell game and betting money between them. My husand thought this was amusing and wanted to stop and watch. Then, out of the crowd, a stranger came up and asked if he could play. He did and lost his money. He then asked to play again to try to win his money back and grabbed my husband's hand saying that he would be his "good luck charm." Of course the guy won and my husband was then drawn into the game.
      The three men were relentless in trying to get my husband to play, telling him that it was easy and that the first game would be free. All the while, they were closing in around him. It was at this point I started to get really nervous. I told my husband we shouldn't play and that I wanted to leave. I turned around to go and one of the men physically blocked me and said "no, your husband is going to play." I just shoved past him and my husband, who saw what the man did to me, got nervous and followed right behind. It is obvious that their plan was to distract us and pickpocket us. Fortunately, we wore money belts under our clothes and had been walking through the market with our packs zipped inside our jackets because of rain.
      We later passed the same group of guys again and saw that the "stranger" who came out of the crowd was actually a friend of the game players!
      [Editor's note: Unfortunately, myriad variations of the shell game are not at all "unusual" in Europe. Stay safe by steering clear of them.]

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