Lost jewelry scam

This scam is widely known among locals of Paris and experienced tourists, although someone who hasn’t been to Paris yet may not have heard of it.

Lost-jewelry-scam-ParisThe “gold ring found on the street” rip-off involves an actress, which is most often a woman of Roma or some other kind of gypsy descent, and a couple of unsuspecting tourists walking the streets of the romantic city of Paris, or enjoying the view over the Seine river on one of the city’s may bridges. When the scammer comes near the couple, she coincidentally happens to find a ring or another valuable piece of jewelry on the street. Of course, it has been planted there by that same woman just a few minutes before, and it’s really just a worthless fake, sometimes not even pretending to be real gold or diamonds. The scammer then asks the tourists if this jewelry happens to be theirs, which they obviously deny. But the woman claims it’s not hers either, and she doesn’t want to keep it, so she offers it to the tourists “because they seem like such a happy couple and they deserve it more than she does”, or some other bogus story.

gold-ring-found-scam-ParisIf the couple accept the ring, she will then all of a sudden ask for a “finder’s fee”, hoping the guileless tourists will give her a couple of Euro’s before finding out it’s really a worthless piece of phony jewelry. If they decline and give the ring back to her, she can switch strategies and simply start begging for a few Euro’s “for her handicapped children” or for cigarettes.

The best way to dismiss these scammers is to ignore them completely, avoiding eye contact and just keep walking. Even if they follow you for a few meters, they will quickly give up and wait for the next couple of tourists to start the play all over again.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Paris and France Tourist Scams Forum.


  1. 2/4/16….happened to me & my husband today on the Champs Elysee – I startled the young girl by screaming Non! She was startled and walked quickly away!

  2. We re quite seasoned travellers and have avoided many a scam.. I thought it was weird when a “random” guy found a ring next to us.
    I kept window shopping .. But my husband stopped when he asked for a cigarette.. He told him he could have it.. So my husband gave him 20 Euros! I realised what was happening and started running back … Too late..
    I took the ring and placed it on a mennequin at Desigual… 😂

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