Don’t Be Conned

With the Brexit, the people of Britain were just conned by bald-faced lies into voting for something that their children generally didn’t want…but are now stuck with. The stakes are really high. If you’re mad, there are people primed to stroke your political temper. But elections have consequences, and protest votes can come back and bite you.

Speaking of cons and flim-flam risks, travelers still need to be mindful of these, too. What cons have you encountered and learned from lately that you can warn us about? Here are a few foisted off on me this year.

shell game

Shell games (brought to you by Russian thugs on the road) try to lure in all of the bus tour groups as they climb up to Montmartre in Paris. Seeing this timeless con attract plenty of new marks, it’s clear that even today, there’s a sucker born every minute.


Roaming street girls double-team unwary tourists. Too young to arrest, but old enough to confuse, grab, and run, they go where you do in cities like Paris.

girl with form

Beware of anyone who approaches you to sign some charity form. It’s just a way to slip their foot into your heart, and from there, to find a way into your wallet. This can happen anywhere tourists gather — such as here, at the top of the Champs Elysees.

Donald Trump book

In Bulgaria, people learn about the Republican candidate for president of the USA in a book titled Donald Trump: I Want It All.


9 Replies to “Don’t Be Conned”

  1. What about the cons you slip in. I may agree with some of your opinions but I don’t want to see them. I’m capable of making my own opinions and think it would be nice for others to decide for themselves. You should choose another format, other than travel notes, to voice opinions.

  2. I ran into several of these folks in Paris. They are indeed agressive and a nuisance. Fortunately i was forwarned by Ricks guidebook and i appreciated having the information beforehand!

  3. It’s great to hear your opinions and interesting anecdotes. Life is too short and precious to be afraid to share ones stories and life experiences and the opinions that develop and change over a life time through those experiences.
    People have a choice to read or not to read.
    Thanks Rick!

  4. funniest one was in 1983 in Trafalgar’s Square. A guy comes up to me and wants to take my photo using a SLR camera and says he’ll mail them to me [back to the USA]. I play along and let him “take” some photos. As he did, I watched the take up reel thingy on the top side of the camera – it never moved during 5-6 photos.

    He comes over, asks for my name and mailing address, and 10 pounds [20USD back then?]. I tell him “no way. there’s not any film in your camera!” We get into a brief discussion and i walk away.

    I wonder how many tourists he conned!!!

    come on folks, rick’s talking about scammers and conners in tourist land, not in politics or government. and as long as rick’s opinions are in a blog or travel stories, so what???

  5. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the shell game in Stockholm last year – thought everyone knew about it, but apparently not. And of course the crowd gathered round the game was a magnet for pickpockets.

  6. Doesn’t it take a little bit of selfie stick narcissism to think that people couldn’t possibly think differently than me because of their own legitimate and educated reasons and, thus, had to be “conned” into voting a certain way?

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