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Review: Paris

City/Town/Region/Island

Paris, France

Beware of men in striped jumpers at Gare du Nord!

  • By SilverTraveller Jenjens

    99 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Jul 2009
  • Friend(s)

120 people found this review helpful

My friend and I arrived in Paris late on a Monday afternoon – tired, hungry and flustered, after struggling with our cases across London in order to catch the Eurostar. Although I had been to Paris numerous times before, including spending time there as an au pair in my teens, and my friend is a seasoned traveller; we both felt overwhelmed by all the people speaking different languages; all the frenetic activity; and all the different routes and lines at the Gare du Nord metro station.



We were studying a map trying to work out our route when a seemingly kind Frenchman (at least he looked French in his blue striped jumper – no beret or string of onions round his neck though!) came up to us.



He spoke to us in perfect English, “Where are you going?”



We showed him our destination on the map and he directed us as to which route we should take.



“Do you have your tickets?” he asked.



We told him that we did not.



“How long are you staying in Paris?”



“Four days,” we replied.



"Four days – two people” he said, “you would do best to get a four day ticket which will let you travel all over Paris on the metro and the buses. Follow me."



I have to admit that alarm bells rang – indeed pounded – but we were exhausted, and I admit, gullible, and so we did. He raced over to a machine, and before we had time to say “Sacre Bleu!” he had put ‘his’ credit card into the machine and we could clearly see a sum of 66 euros showing, and out popped two tickets.



“These will last you both for your 4 day stay in Paris,” he said.



It did seem rather a lot of money, but he looked honest and trustworthy, so we gave him the cash. He gave us a few centimes in change and showed us where to catch the metro. We followed him, put our tickets in the machine, and then he was gone before we had the chance to say “Merci” – or as it should have been – “Voleur!”



On arrival at our hotel we asked the receptionist if the tickets would last us for four days, and he told us we’d paid 66 euros for two single tickets on the metro. In normal circumstances these would have cost us less than 2 euros each!



Was ‘his’ credit card stolen? Did he know how to manipulate the ticket machine? Probably both. So beware of conmen on the metro – particularly if, like us, you look tired, unsuspecting, bewildered, bemused, flustered, vulnerable – and British!

120 people found this review helpful

This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • coolonespa
    about 9 years ago
    Thanks for the warning. Didn't see this but did see another scam. I've sent in a review, search for Paris Coin Scam