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Paris Travel & Vacations
Paris Vacations, Champs-Elysées, La plus belle avenue du monde, Louvre, Left Bank, Notre Dame, Place de la Concorde, Eiffel Tower, Paris hotels, Paris restaurants, Paris shows, Paris night clubs, Paris fun.

While both France and Monaco have relatively low rates of violent crime, a limited number of neighborhoods in the larger French cities merit extra caution.  Additionally, although the overall crime rate has fallen slightly in recent years, the volume of crimes involving violence has increased in France.  Thieves commonly target vehicles with non-local license plates and work in or near tourist attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, hotels, beaches, trains, train stations, airports, and subways.  Americans in France and Monaco should be particularly alert to pickpockets in train stations and subways.  Photocopies of travel documents and credit cards should be kept separate from the originals and key telephone numbers maintained to contact banks if credit cards are stolen or lost.
 
Although thieves may operate anywhere, the U.S. Embassy in Paris receives frequent reports of theft from several areas in particular

Thieves operate on the rail link (RER) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to downtown Paris, where they prey on jet-lagged, luggage-burdened tourists.  In one common ruse, a thief distracts a tourist with a question about directions, while an accomplice steals a momentarily unguarded backpack, briefcase, or purse.  Thieves also time their thefts to coincide with train stops so they may quickly exit the car just before the automatic doors close.  Travelers may wish to consider taking an airport shuttle bus or taxi from the airport into the city.

Large criminal operations in Paris involving the use of ATM machines that “eat” the user’s ATM card have been reported.  This most often happens during a weekend or at night when the bank is closed.  The frustrated traveler often walks away after unsuccessfully trying to retrieve the card, with plans to return the first day the bank is open.  In such cases, a criminal gang has modified the machine using an add-on device equipped with a microchip that records the user’s PIN number when it is typed in and also prevents the card from being ejected.  The criminal retrieves the card from the device once the visitor departs, downloads the recorded PIN number and then goes to other ATMs and withdraws as much cash as possible.  ATM users are strongly encouraged to carry a 24-hour emergency number for their ATM card and bank account that will enable the immediate prevention of withdrawals from the account if difficulties occur.

Pigalle is the “adult entertainment district” of Paris.  Many entertainment establishments in this area engage in aggressive marketing and charge well beyond the normal rate for drinks.  There have been reports of threats of violence to coerce patrons into paying exorbitant beverage tabs.  Visitors are encouraged to avoid this area unless touring with a well-organized and reputable tour company.
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