Twice in the past two weeks I have fallen prey to a little swindlers' trick. Maybe it's an old ploy and I'm just a rookie here. I fell for it the first time.
Breezing down a quiet residential street near Bon Marche, I was stopped by a man ahead of me on the sidewalk who had leaned over to pick up an object by the curb. He approached, saying, "Excusez moi, madame, but I have found this wedding ring. Look, it has inscriptions on the inside." The point is to get the target (me) engaged in dialogue and a small level of trust. Foolishly I fell for it -- he wanted me to return the ring to the police. Then he asked for lunch money. He had me right up until then. I offered him one euro.
The guy then said, sneeringly, "I can't buy lunch for that much! I need more money!" and he re-pocketed the ring.
Then my smart brain kicked in and I realized that he was just a con artist.
"A simple thank you would suffice, cretin," I said as I stormed off, totally pissed that I had given him a euro. How stupid of me.
So yesterday when a different guy tried the same trick (same ring! fat gold band) -- right outside a friend's apartment building on avenue de Tourville, I told him to get lost in a most unhesitatingly crude way. Sometimes I just love knowing French mots grossiers.