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  #1  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:18 PM
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France "Lost" ring scam

Comment: while in Paris last month as my wife and I were about to cross a
street a woman in front of us bent down and appeared to pick up a ring,
she asked if the ring belonged to us? when we replied "no" she tried it on
her own fingers but it did'nt fit,she then placed the ring on my finger
and declared it must be a mans ring as it was too big for and it fit my
finger. The nice lady then offered me the ring as a token of "good luck"
as I accepted the ring and began to walk away she came back to us and
asked if I could give her money for the ring. When I offered a couple of
dollars she said it wasn't enough, can't I at least give her enough for a
sandwich and a coke. I then took out a 5 euro note which she also refused,
not enough, I then went to return the ring, she grabbed the 5 and was
gone. Not ten minutes later standing in front of the Paris opera house
another woman bent down in front of my wife, and lo and behold she to
found a ring, did it belong to us? All the while with the first encounter
I kept asking my wife,"is this a scam" needless to say with the second
encounter it definitely was. I have also learned where the scam goes
someone offers a ring off there hand because they need money for an
emergency and there wallet was hjust stolen or left at home etc. etc.
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  #2  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:23 PM
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I swear I've seen a similar scam as part of the plot of some movie or TV show, but I can't for the life of me place it at the moment.
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  #3  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:25 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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Worst. Scam. Ever!

Also, not a scam if the person is grabbing the money and running.

It sounds more like an excuse to get the mark to get out their wallet so they can be robbed rather than a "proper" scam.

ETA: Wildabeast, are you thinking of the scam that Wichita and Little Rock from Zombieland would run before the outbreak?
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  #4  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:29 PM
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Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
 
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Cowboy

There's a similar, but not quite the same, scam in Zombieland.

ETA: Spanked while searching YouTube!
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  #5  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:30 PM
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No

No, it is a scam -- the expectation is that the mark will offer up money in exchange for what appears to be a valuable ring but is really a cheap knock-off:

Quote:
One of the apparently famous tourist scams in Paris is the "lost ring" scam. A stranger, an honest man bends over to pick up a "lost" ring and offers it to the mark. Negotiations follow and the mark gives money to the honest man. The honest man does not accept the valuable gold ring because it is not his, not the right size, against his religion, blah, blah. It turns out that the ring is brass and almost worthless. The honest man walks away with more than he paid for the ring and the mark walks away with a worthless ring, a few euros poorer.
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Old 14 January 2013, 07:30 PM
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Does it make it more of a scam because it relies on someone not being particularly honest? That wasn't his ring yet he made no suggestion about taking it to the police.
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  #7  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:39 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
No, it is a scam -- the expectation is that the mark will offer up money in exchange for what appears to be a valuable ring but is really a cheap knock-off:
In general yes, but in the example in the OP it ended up being robbery, not a scan as the victim declined to pay for the ring and had money stolen from him.

According to multiple sources that I've read, most (many?) scams depend on the mark being slightly dishonest as well.
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  #8  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:46 PM
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Tsk, Tsk

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
In general yes, but in the example in the OP it ended up being robbery, not a scan as the victim declined to pay for the ring and had money stolen from him.
The mark in the OP did offer to pay for the ring. He just didn't offer as much as the scammer hoped to get, so when the latter saw that she wasn't going to get any more out of him, she grabbed what was originally offered.

Quote:
According to multiple sources that I've read, most (many?) scams depend on the mark being slightly dishonest as well.
That fits the description of the mark in the OP, who accepted possession of a ring that clearly didn't belong to him or to the person who gave it to him.
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  #9  
Old 14 January 2013, 07:50 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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So it was a scam that turned into robbery when the scammer got greedy (but then only got what was offered while it was still a scam).

ETA: If you don't buy that, can I sell you on a case of scammery?
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  #10  
Old 14 January 2013, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I swear I've seen a similar scam as part of the plot of some movie or TV show, but I can't for the life of me place it at the moment.
I remember reading about an old con involving a pair of expensive looking glasses being used in such a way (the idea being to convince the mark that the "real" owner of the glasses would almost certainly offer a reward for their return, but the con artist was just passing through and didn't have time to find him).

But especially with the OP comment, I have to wonder just how many people would fall for such a scam? "Is this your ring? No? Well, it doesn't fit me, so obviously you should keep it. Oh, would you mind giving me some money because I gave you the ring?"

I'd thought that the scam would turn out to be when a second person came up and accused you of stealing the ring and tried to extort money from the mark in exchange for not taking them to the police or something.
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  #11  
Old 14 January 2013, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I swear I've seen a similar scam as part of the plot of some movie or TV show, but I can't for the life of me place it at the moment.
Reminds me of the old American Express ads with Karl Malden. Someone bends down to pick up an item and someone else grabs your wallet.
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