Joe and I pride ourselves on not falling for scams when abroad. But it’s one thing to read about what to avoid in guidebooks and on blogs, and yet another to experience it first-hand. The other day we were walking along the river, admiring the sweep of the Seine and the beauty of the tropical greenery of the Musée Branly. Out-of-the-blue, a clean-cut young man swooped down in front of us and then popped back up with a shiny gold ring in his hand. “C’est a vous Madame/Monsieur?” he asked. I firmly replied, “non,” it was not ours and without even looking at him, we purposefully walked on. He’d tried his ruse just as we’d read to expect. Had we been unaware and hesitated for even a moment about the 10-cent brass ring he presented, he would have told us that the ring he’d found on the path was not his, and that he couldn’t possibly keep it for himself. When we finally relented and took the ring, he would have told us that he’d just lost his job/was having trouble feeding his new baby/had sick parents who were in trouble – just fill in the blank – in the hope that we’d pass along a few euros. The next day I was running on the opposite bank of the Seine and just as I passed by, a ruddy-faced, babushka-wearing peasant woman tried the same scam on a Scandinavian-accented English-speaking couple pushing a stroller. I would have intervened, but they appeared not to be falling for the golden ring trick either.