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Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 posts
27 reviews
Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

I was in a crowded place behind the scamming guys playing shell-game in Paris. Of course I was too careful to my baggage and wallet so nobody could pickpocket. After 15 minutes I stayed away those guys and walk ahead to some souvenir shops on the road. When I got into a shop, there was a young female wearing normal clothes approaching me asking me check wallet and other valuable things. I was surprised and didn’t answer. She showed ID and police badge. I was still like having no idea. She seriously showed her gun behind her back then said during my time observing shell game there were two guys trying to approach me for pickpocket. I was quite scared then she asked if I could speak English. I answered that nothing lost. She quickly ran away me. She kept walking on the road, wearing headphone and black glasses.

What an amazing experience in Paris. Wondering if anyone ever meets such an undercover police? Do you think it is just a scam? If so, what would such a female do after then.

For those who are going to enjoy Paris, please be prepared and read internet sources related to Paris scamming precautions.

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31 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
12,844 posts
1. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

> What an amazing experience in Paris.

I can imagine.

> Wondering if anyone ever meets such an undercover police?

Yes, it's been reported.

> Do you think it is just a scam?

No.

> If so, what would such a female do after then.

Same as a man, I guess.

In France it seems the police need an actual victim of crime before they can act. So, they can't stop someone on 'suspicion of pickpocketing' - they need someone to have actually been pickpocketed.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
61,888 posts
171 reviews
2. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

As long as the police officer didn't ask to inspect your wallet personally, then it should be legit. There are scams out there with folks pretending to be the authorities and asking you to hand over your wallet to look through your stuff. When your wallet is returned to you, you will inevitably find some money missing.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
6,036 posts
26 reviews
3. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

Why would police be interested in pickpockets but do nothing about the shell game itself, which is quite illegal and being conducted in plain sight?

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

I don't think shell-game is illegal. It's just a magical stuff to show you. As long as you give your money to bet, you agree with the terms. Of course it is kind of gambling which would be prohibited in France.

the big blue marble
Level Contributor
16,789 posts
41 reviews
5. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

Thuan — the shell game is fixed. There is no way anyone except the host can win. It is a scam, not gambling.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29,106 posts
95 reviews
6. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

3 card monte scams usually have lookouts posted and melt away when police are spotted and they know how to spot undercover police. These games run continuously quite near where friends of ours live in Montmartre and we have watched them operate many times. Note when you try to take pictures how you are usually blocked. There is of course no gambling involved, it is entirely a fleece. Maybe this was a cop. Maybe not. In no case would you hand over your wallet for inspection and I would be very leery of even checking it yourself in their presence as pickpocket artists are very good at quickly relieving people of their cash.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
4 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

If that is the thing then nobody really wants to give money. My point is if you give your money (without any contract or terms of agreement), police will not go to sort that out. That should be the thing between two parties (you and scammer). We just need to flag this kind of scam out then all tourists in Paris can avoid.

Marlow, United...
Level Contributor
5,766 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

>If that is the thing then nobody really wants to give money<

The world is full of gullible people

>My point is if you give your money (without any contract or terms of agreement), police will not go to sort that out.<

They will if you have been the victim of fraud (as here)

>We just need to flag this kind of scam out then all tourists in Paris can avoid.<

The trick is as old as time and there are hundreds of threads on this, we don't need any more.

Versailles, France
Level Contributor
625 posts
9. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

Gambling is very controlled in France. You cannot do what you want in France (and in most of countries on this planet). You need to obtain a licence to propose money game.

Even if it was not gambling, you cannot sell what you want where you want. You have to follow trade laws. And of course, you cannot install yoyr stuff on the public space without licence !

San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
21,652 posts
79 reviews
10. Re: Anyone being asked by an undercover police?

>>We just need to flag this kind of scam out then all tourists in Paris can avoid.<<

The scam is run in lots of places, including London (Westminster Bridge) and San Francisco (Fisherman's Wharf). Consider it flagged universally.

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