‘Sign the petition!’ Footage reveals how Paris scammers target tourists with bogus causes and demands for donations

Video at the link:

It’s one of the most common schemes tourists encounter when they visit Paris, with plenty of guides and websites warning holidaymakers to turn and walk away.

Filmed in the tourist-heavy area along the river Seine in Paris, this footage shows a woman trying to pressure a holidaymaker into signing a petition, without explaining why or what it is for.

The woman in the video approaches the videographer, asking if he speaks English before holding out a pen and encouraging him to sign the paper she’s holding.

What is it?’ the man asks, while recording the interaction.

She continues to push the paper toward him, getting visibly upset when the man continues to question what exactly it is that she’s asking him to sign.

She pushes the pen toward him several more times, despite the man’s protests, before giving up and stalking off angrily.

Ah, yes, the petition shake down. Most of the time they’re just trying to get a quick buck off of clueless tourists but every so often a confederate will pick your pocket while you’re signing the petition.

YouTube has some clips of other scams used in Paris (also throughout tourist attractions in Europe) such as the gold ring scam where somebody points out to you that someone dropped a gold ring and then tries to sell it to you for a good price (It’s not really gold)

Then there’s the friendship bracelet scam where the scammer will rope your finger and start braiding a bracelet on your arm so you can’t get away. They won’t untie it unless you pay for it.

And there’s this scam where some businessman gives you a great deal on “designer” jackets because he’s in a rush to leave or some bullshit.


  1. They tried to get me to do the string thing in front of the Basilica du Sacré-Cœur. Fortunately I’d already read about that one and just shook my head walked away. I did see other people doing it and handing over money afterward, but they didn’t seem too upset; it looked more like they were paying a street performer for entertaining them.
    On my last night there, some guys at the Eiffel Tower kept trying to sell me flashing miniature Eiffel Tower keychains. Not a scam, I just didn’t want one. The guy kept following me calling, “my friend, my friend.” By this time I was fatigued and in no mood for bullshit so I finally pulled a Vincent Vega and said, “I ain’t your friend, palooka” and kept walking. Of course calling him “palooka” had nothing to do with the situation, but I said it anyway.

  2. never encountered any scams in Paris fortunately, as I can be a gullible eejit when you catch me on the right day. Madrid on the other hand, I was witness and victim to a couple of occasions of straight thievery. I was there on 4 or 5 occasions in total. One time I sat in the park, had 2 hours to wait for a bus to the north of Spain, so I lay with my suitcase under my head, but my shoulder bag beside that. In a large field of grass with no one around, somehow someone crept up (barefoot I imagine) and made off with the shoulder bag, I didn’t see or notice anyone come near me for the entire time.
    The second time, I was walking in the street with a friend, we were walking side by side, talking. I on the right, she on the left, I noticed a guy walking behind us to her left, walking at a faster pace than us. As we continued to talk I noticed after a few seconds or a few meters later that the guy had failed to over take us. Wondering where he had dissapeared to, I tilted my head back to look to left of us and there he was in my blind spot, behind her! I stopped walking right away, he seen me smiled, walked on a step or two, turned and asked me for a cigarette. I told him no, even though I had some, told my friend to check her bag, it had been opened, but nothing was missing. When in Madrid, watch yer shit! Same goes for anywhere I suppose

  3. Another scam, more dangerous, takes place when you try to withdraw machine from an ATM. One guy is putting a paper in front of the keyboard and when you are not paying attention to what you are doing, they take your withdrawal and/or.
    It happened to me once but I reacted by protecting the keyboard with my back and cursing at them. It worked. Some people gathered and they fled

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