The news yesterday 09/29/2010 was that Paris was a possible terrorist target. American hotels were deemed to be most likely included in the terrorist plans. I decided today to check the US Department of State’s website to see if France was added to the travel warnings. It was not. Good news. This means that I am much more likely to get hit by a car on these crazy 10 lane Texas highways on the way to the airport then having something happen in Paris!
Just for the heck of it, I decided to read about crime in France on the US State Department website and found most of the information about how to avoid scams, common theft and petty crimes common sense, with this exception:
“Large criminal operations in Paris involving the use of ATMs that “eat” the user’s 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 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 and then goes to other ATMs and withdraws as much cash as possible. ATM users should carry a 24-hour emergency number for their card and bank account so that they may put an immediate stop to withdrawals from the account if difficulties occur.”
For a complete picture of what’s happening in France at any given time check out the France/Monaco page of the US Department of State.