Petrol scam on French roads

I did it in a car park, not actually in my car but had I been driving would have done the same as you. It is good to have something on the backburner and my cock'n'bull worked.

How about giving them some fuel !! if anyone dare carry 2 cans 1 petrol 1 diesel small amount of fuel in each with a lot of water and sugar in the petrol can, slow them down whilst you get the Gendarmes

I've an even better method Brian, I tell them to F-off. We were stopped a couple of years ago and the scammer almost had his head in my window. They can be very aggressive. Needed fuel to get himself, his wife and poor little child back to Germany. I just told him to f-off and accelerated away. I saw him standing shocked in the layby through my rearview mirror. My wife thought I had been very rude until she googled the scam when we got home ;-)

You've ripped off Stephen. It is a very old scam, at least thirty years old. You can end up with worthless jewelry, worthless "suede" coats, worthless anything.

BTW, do you have a RHD and/or UK reg car?

I have a wonderful means of dealing with people who try these scams. At least, that is to say I did it once and would happily try it again. I tell them I am being sought by the police and perhaps they could help me out. If they want money, I am more or less out and am not sure what I will do when my tank is empty/my stay at the hotel finishes or something similar. I ask if they know somewhere where I could stay until the heat is off, which could be a while. Before I had continued the man trying to get $100 dollars out of me was suddenly 'worried about getting back to his wife and children'!

Something can help to minimize certain "dangers": First to make sure my OH is protected we got a little Rottweiler lady who is actually such a gentle and docile girl, kids are poking their fingers in her nose & eyes and she just goes away evaluating human quirks, small little dogs attacking her, she just puts her feet on their spine or head and does nothing else, but with some issues she just don't want to put up,- with "la "casseur"" in her territory and such road suckers. The latter too, - once they see her sitting on the co-driver seat and not "saying" anything but being 100% on alert!

I've never seen the scam with a woman and baby - and actually until today, I have always thought I'd stop to help if there was a family involved, what a great shame because after reading this - I would now think twice!

Oh dear, how hard it is to be a good Samaritan these days. Try to do someone a kindness and it comes back to bite you making it all seem very foolish. What happens to the person who really has run out of petrol? We all run away now. I suppose the answer is to phone the police and get them to deal with it while driving away. Would that work in France?

In southern Texas while driving along in the early evening, if you came up to a car without its lights on and flashed yours to warn them, the car would turn around and the driver would shoot up your car. It was a Houston gang initiation rite -- the Houston Sheriff's office posted a warning in the canteen of a company for whom I was working at the time -- late 90's. Happens everywhere, perhaps we should all stay at home?

It's not the first time I've heard of this one! In fact an British guy in Brittany used to be at it about five years ago. He actually took the trouble to look for either cars that were British registered or converted (right hand drive) and come out with a very similar sob story. British? It's just not cricket! Having my wife's handbag nicked on the Paris metro, being surrounded by thieving gypsy children in the Moscow metro, been drugged in the USA, attempted entry of hotel room in Sicily (woke up to see the handle slowly turning!) one is in danger everywhere. My accountant was gassed in a French train sleeper. In Sicily they used to follow hire cars and then overtake pointing to a non existent puncture before coshing you! Mind you you get mugged by govenments every day!

Well call me greedy but this has happened to me twice!
The first time was a silver Volvo about 7 years ago - just 20 miles south of Calais - it was the summer before we moved here, and we got stopped by this guy who looked like he was part of The Royale Family - ( not to be confused with "The Royals) Dirty string vest and just wanting enough money for petrol to the ferry port! Stupidly we stood out as holiday makers, Sat nav, blackberry, DVD players all on board to make the trip comfortable. However, his scam was to stop people, and then when they didn't fund him, he would ram into them ( he had an accomplice in another car parked in the service station and got us off of the slip road coming off. Apparently this was the scam of the time, and once you drove away, if he'd not extorted money from you, his "mate" would come up behind and ram you - fortunately, Paul ( the husband) had heard of this only weeks before from a friend and of course, we didn't get scammed, or rammed, as we drove away ( at speed) Paul pulled in to the slow lane, and drove between two lorries so that we'd have witnesses. After about 15 minutes they got bored and went on to find another victim.
The second time was in the Autumn last year on the sleepy Mauborguet - Mont de Marsan road, when a Turkish guy stopped me, and offered me his ring!! The window was just opened a little way, and as I started to wine it up he jumped onto my bonet, as you can imagine, I sped off - though just for fun, next time, I'm going to stick the car in reverse!!

Yup! That's exactly where it happened to me. And this was on March 6th ... so about the same time then. It has certainly taught me a lesson.

It's a fairly common scam round here! If I'm feeling wicked I stop to offer assistance, explaining that I am a garagiste. This is NOT advisable - drive on by!

After I hear their story - usually the same one every time, complete with young wife & baby - I tell them that there is a petrol station nearby & I can look at their petrol gauge to see if they have enough to get there. This is not allowed, of course. Usually the driver starts to get angry & it's time to pull out the mobile phone!The English Mercedes has an out of date tax disc issued in Southampton (Yes, he's been here, too!) but the driver claimed to be from somewhere else. Usually the cars are Spanish registered.

"All that glisters is not gold" Merchant of Venice.

Thanks for this. My husband is traveling back tomorrow and I have sent him an ‘e’ about this. The silly season has started already! Many thanks.

You obviously didn't read my "story" properly. I didn't try to get the better of him, I didn't really want his rings -- in fact I gave him back his watch -- I had no thought of scamming anyone. I only discovered the scam when I searched on the internet when I got home after trying his phone numbers and email address. Having had my boys have their credit cards stopped while driving down to us in France before I know it can happen -- and particularly in Germany. Read again my last line ... "So beware and don't be as naive as I very obviously was!" It seems from some of the comments here, that my warning is well taken. Again, I was NOT trying to get the better of Ali, why would you think that?

Nothing is real with these guys. Not the gold, not the watches (Chinese remakes bought in Bucharest) Usually they are originally from these two countries in the Balkans which are EU member states, so they have freedom of travel. They came to Germany from 2004 on, registered a car. It was annoying and people got fat up, never stopped. The registration plates are most of the time genuine, but on someone else's name as the driver. However, there was never any know case where violence was involved when ignoring them. These are just poor people trying to rib people off.

Thank you for the warning as I will be driving home to France in a few weeks time,know wont be stopping if I see a uk plate asking for help.sad as they may be genuine but not worth the risk or trouble

I had it happen in almost the same way, a BMW parked on the verge and a swarthy young guy who spoke broken English offered me a ring for money for petrol. I declined despite his accomplished begging technique, he wasn't too far from Montpon or Roche Chalais so I didn't feel bad but it didn't look right. So the Dordogne/ Charente Maritime borders have the same problem!

My first thoughts too; if the jewellery was stolen you could be in all sorts of problems. We all want to help and I hate that we have to be so mistrusting(?) distrutful(?) mefiante, but ....................................!

That's quite worrying. I drive down to the south of France regularly on my own with 2 small children in a GB reg car. I'm going to be a lot more aware now. Thank you for sharing.