Helping the elderly in need: It may be a reflex in many people, and in some cases the helpless elderly is not as innocent as it seems. For example, the “Tricky Grandfather” has been terrorizing the French capital, Paris, for some time now. On TikTok, many people, especially young women, share the same experience: They were mugged by a man “in his 60s” who asked them for help.
It appears that the scammer will be mainly active in Paris metro stations. He always asks his victims for help and then shamelessly robs them, according to various testimonies.
One of the victims, 23-year-old Sibylle, tells her story in “Le Parisien”. In September 2022, the young woman is on her way to the cinema, where she has arranged to meet a friend. On the way, she is stopped by an elderly man. “Normally I would never stop, but in this case he reassured me and didn’t seem so serious,” she says. The man, who is “65 years old,” said he is a retired teacher of French from the southern city of Toulon, who had been invited to Paris to attend a conference of the French Ministry of Education.
He further claimed that he had just been robbed and lost all his personal belongings, including his wallet and mobile phone.
“I felt stupid”
The 60-year-old then asked Sibylle if she could pay for the taxi and trains, a total of about €150. The trap into which the naive young woman fell with both feet. Sibylle did not realize until it was too late that she had been deceived. “I looked up his name, followed by ‘Master Frans Toulon, but I couldn’t find anything,’” she says. “I also checked if there were any trains going to Toulon that day, but there wasn’t. When I told my friends, they laughed at me. I didn’t go to the police because I felt stupid.”
Sibylle decided to share her story after watching a TikTok video in which French influencer Zoé shares the same experience. She, too, was recently stopped at a Paris metro station by a “little grandfather in a polo shirt and jeans.” He claimed that the older man again claimed to be from Toulon and that he had been robbed. “He begged me to give him some money,” says Zoe, who went to collect at least €220 for him.
The reactions to the video show that the “deceitful grandfather” has already caused countless victims. The thief always goes the same way. It is not yet clear whether it was a single man or a group of criminals.
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