When you buy something on the street, you think you’re getting a bargain, or helping someone in need. In reality, you’re giving money to clandestine organisations and similar networks. You don’t know where the product has come from, and you’re exposing yourself to risks. In France, street selling is prohibited. It is a criminal offence punishable by a six month prison sentence and a fine of 3,750 euros.
At the tourist sites in the capital, you will regularly come across young girls and boys, often young children, who will approach you with a petition in their hands, sometimes claiming to be deaf and dumb, who in addition to your signature will ask you for money. Although they appear to be representing recognised charities and foundations, this is not the truth. They are just trying to get money out of you and nothing will ever be paid to these organisations, but will instead be used to fund clandestine organisations and similar networks. Use of a false identity (using someone else’s identity or the company name of a legal entity) is an offence punishable by 7 years in prison and a fine of 750,000 euros (10 years and 1 million euros when the scam is committed by an organised group).
Various Three-card trick scams take place on the public streets, with for example two black cards and one red card. The card handler shuffles the cards and asks the player to bet a sum of money (50 euros minimum), for example on the red card, which he must then find from the three cards. If the player succeeds, he receives double his bet, if he fails, he loses it. In practice, the card handler is assisted by two accomplices who pretend to be players in order to make off with the victims' bets. The card handler will always win and you will always lose. This fraud is prohibited under Article 313-1 of the French Penal Code.