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The Golden Ring

When I was in Pa­ris, it ha­ppe­ned to me ten ti­mes or mo­re. Wa­lking on a pu­blic pla­ce, a man or a wo­man would pop out of no­whe­re, gol­den ring in han­d, and say "he­y, mis­te­r, is this your­s?"

It's a we­ll kno­wn sca­m. You get to keep the rin­g, and the ring bea­rer wi­ll ask you for so­me com­pen­satio­n. It wi­ll turn out the ring is wor­th­le­ss, so you wi­ll be out a cou­ple of eu­ros or so.

It's in­te­res­ting in so­me wa­ys, thou­gh.

  • It re­­lies on the vi­c­­tim being dis­ho­­­nes­­t, si­n­­ce the ring is not thei­r­s.

  • The amount of mo­­­ney gai­­ned by the sca­­m­­mer is at the vi­c­­ti­­m's dis­­cre­­tio­­n.

  • If you do­­n't gi­­ve the sca­­m­­mer an­­y­­thi­n­­g, he wi­­ll, at mo­s­­t, ye­­ll at you for being a cheap ba­s­­ta­r­­d, and it's do­­­ne in ve­­ry pu­­blic pla­­ce­s, so the dan­­ger of vio­­­len­­ce is ne­­gli­­gi­­ble.

  • Si­n­­ce the vi­c­­tim is al­­so doing so­­­me­­thing mo­­­ra­­lly re­­prehen­­si­­ve, and lyi­n­­g, the risk of the sca­­m­­mer being cha­r­­ged wi­­th an­­y­­thing is ne­­gli­­gi­­ble.

It's al­most like so­me sort of weird sale:

"He­re's so­me­thing of no va­lue that looks va­lua­ble! Is it your­s? (I know it is­n'­t)" "I wi­ll bet on it being va­lua­ble and pre­tend it's mi­ne!" "So, how mu­ch is appea­sing your re­mor­se about sca­m­ming me out of a pro­ba­bly wor­th­le­ss ring wor­th?" "I'd say 3 eu­ro­s, my good man!" "Dea­l!"

How can it be wor­th their whi­le to do this? I would guess their suc­ce­ss ra­te at perhaps 5% and they pro­ba­bly do­n't make mo­re than 5 eu­ros on a suc­ce­ss­ful tran­sac­tion

All in all, it see­ms fair­ly har­m­le­ss, just an­no­yin­g, and fren­ch peo­ple ha­ve ac­tua­lly cha­sed me do­wn the street to re­turn me so­me­thing I for­got in a ba­r. Then agai­n, I al­so was peed on a foot by a bad­ly bur­n-­dis­fi­gu­red guy in a wheel­chai­r, on Champs El­y­sees, so YM­M­V.

Jake / 2013-01-09 19:40:

When you see people doing a certain method for quite a while, you must assume, that it works.. They do it not for fun... ;)


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