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Paris Scams:
String Men of Sacré Coeur


ABOVE: "String men" wait for tourists by the Montmartre carousel at the base of the stepe that lead up to the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.

By Durant Imboden

photoThe Basilica of Sacré-Coeur is Montmartre's leading tourist attraction, and it's probably the most-visited church in Paris after the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.

Unfortunately, the steps leading up to the basilica are also a prime target for the scam artists known as "string men," who prey on na´ve tourists and those with slow reflexes. Here's how the scam works:

photoSometimes the string men are more polite (they'll ask the visitor to hold a string before they start braiding the bracelet), but the net result is the same: a tourist who surrenders to extortion by a man who's holding a string attached to her wrist.

How can you avoid the "string man" scam? Easy:

Just keep your hands close to your body as you pass the string men and politely say "Non, merci" if they approach.

Be courteous but firm, and the string man who's targeted you will move on to another victim.

Our advice:

Related article:
Basilica of Sacré-Coeur

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