Expat Ukraine Forum

Introductions... => Please read this first!!! => Ukraine - an introduction for Newbies => Topic started by: Glyn Thomas. on 11:43 18-Dec-2016

Title: Tourist scams
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 11:43 18-Dec-2016
If you are new to Ukraine ? like any other tourist in any other part of the world there will be some who will try to get your money in whatever way possible. Here are some common scams:

a) Dropped wallet trick ? A man drops a bundle of US Dollars in front of you either wrapped in clear plastic or in a rubber band. You pick it up and call out to him ?Hey mister ? you?ve just dropped something!?. He then thanks you but asks where the rest of it has gone. Cue police arriving (phoney or on the payroll of the crook) to search you and your wallet. Hey Presto ? you have been fleeced.

b) Hryvnya ? Rubles. They both look the same if you are new here ? don?t accept change in ruble notes!

c) Taxis. This could occupy a whole website but basically don?t get in a taxi / car on street if there is more than one person in it or if the driver is drunk or is clearly on speed. Always agree your fare beforehand. If in doubt take a proper taxi ? don?t flag one down off the street. If he is wearing backless gloves and has Carlos Fandango stripes down the side of his Lada this could also prove to be a white knuckle ride.

d) Bankomat (ATM) skimming happens in most Cities from time to time... try to use the machine inside the bank.

Basically ? if you suspect that there is a scam and you can?t see a victim... it is probably you.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Reggie on 21:42 18-Dec-2016

a) Dropped wallet trick ? A man drops a bundle of US Dollars in front of you either wrapped in clear plastic or in a rubber band. You pick it up and call out to him ?Hey mister ? you?ve just dropped something!?. He then thanks you but asks where the rest of it has gone. Cue police arriving (phoney or on the payroll of the crook) to search you and your wallet. Hey Presto ? you have been fleeced.


This one was attempted on me.   Guy pointed to US dollars in a plastic bag.   I didn't touch it.   I just gave him 'THE look' (the evil eye) and he scooted along nervously.  Around the area of Lva Tolstoho.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: David Rochlin on 22:56 18-Dec-2016
That scam is now a popular tourist attraction by the Kyiv Opera House.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Reggie on 22:58 18-Dec-2016
That scam is now a popular tourist attraction by the Kyiv Opera House.

I didn't fall for it. 

But what happens when you touch the bag?   A real cop comes?  A fake cop comes?   His buddy comes?

Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Ted on 04:49 19-Dec-2016
That scam is now a popular tourist attraction by the Kyiv Opera House.

I like casual kicking the bag off to the side into someone else's path.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: David Rochlin on 08:46 19-Dec-2016
That scam is now a popular tourist attraction by the Kyiv Opera House.

I like casual kicking the bag off to the side into someone else's path.

If you pick up the bag after someone dances around in front of you shouting: "Look!, Look! fortune has shined upon you.  There, unnoticed by all other bystanders, is a big bag of money right in front of your feet, in a convenienly see through bag, with tourist map!"   Then someone quickly approaches you: "Thank God you found that big bag of money I accidently threw on the ground at your feet!"  Cop approaches:  "I saw what happened and as an incorruptable authority, naturally I expect you to return the bag of money to this unfortunate butterfingered tourist!"  You hand the bag of money to the money dropper, who then says:  "This is only half the money I threw on the ground in front of you."  Is there no mercy, no kindness to strangers in this world!  Theif! Theif!  Officer, please collect the rest of my money from this man (you get half!)  Cop then says, and (yes he is a real cop unless dressed in camo without patches.) "Give this man his money back or you will answer for it at the police station which has even more expensive officers of the law."
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Dyldor on 11:31 06-May-2017
I have to ask - why does the whole two people in taxis thing happen? I remember once I was at a friend's house outside of the city, and the taxi company offered one with two drivers, but my friend's mother outright refused.

Is there some kind of sinister implication behind it, or just a general "keep safe rule"?
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: David Rochlin on 08:01 07-Jun-2017
O.K., so I took a walk on Kreschatyk, and near Maidan this girl throws a monkey at me, just tosses it onto my shoulder, and starts asking me to get a photo with it.  I tell her several times "No photo," and eventually she relents and takes her monkey back.  I walk off, distracted and of course, within a minute two more monkeys are pitched at me.  "No photo, no Photo," as two guys aggressively pitch their monkey business.   Of course, photos with usually abused animals are an old Ukrainian tradition.  But, these people were unusually aggressive, throwing animals at passers by.  Plus, if someone is surprised and does a photo without thinking to negotiate, then the scam is that the photo will be expensive.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Carlusha on 08:31 07-Jun-2017
David, dear fellow expatuan, you have been coming and going to Ukraine for many years. Surely by now you know the trick is to blend in, act and dress like a real Ukrainian and you can be certain the monkey trick will pass you by.

The snap below shows how you SHOULD dress and don't forget to call in the barber shop and request a чуб!

Shall I fetch my coat?
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Reggie on 08:34 07-Jun-2017

Walking with wife at Lva Tolstoy last night.

In front of me Gypsy girl with flowers in my face.

From behind an emaciated looking male drug addict just barely feeling my back pocket with finger tips.  Grabbed his wrist, spun his arm behind his back, checked my pockets and let him go.   They were surprised I felt it and was aware, and that I reacted.   

It's the season; watch yourself around tourist areas.  Center is a target zone.
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: AkMike on 03:05 08-Jun-2017
I do a reverse Cossack hair cut.  Shaved clean on top and hair around the bottom..    ::)   

 But I do have the `stache working well! :D
Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Kord on 11:00 09-Jun-2017
David, dear fellow expatuan, you have been coming and going to Ukraine for many years. Surely by now you know the trick is to blend in, act and dress like a real Ukrainian and you can be certain the monkey trick will pass you by.

The snap below shows how you SHOULD dress and don't forget to call in the barber shop and request a чуб!

Shall I fetch my coat?
That look is so old school, THIS is the new Ukraine man look. Get with it

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3KuYiHz2jIc/URLVFGhmB8I/AAAAAAAAIlw/nOSmost1Sz4/s1600/tumblr_lklpqrrFB51qjwk1go1_500.jpg)

Title: Re: Tourist scams
Post by: Kord on 19:17 11-Jun-2017
That picture isn't totally accurate especially nowadays.
I'd say these guys are more prevalent attire at the moment:

(https://storage1.censor.net.ua/images/8/2/c/9/82c9960f78fd5cbdf5501abe66e435e5/640x480.jpg)

and when not defending the borders they are wrangling fish from the mighty Dnipre.

(https://i1.wp.com/www.donegalcottageholidays.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/donegal-game-angling.jpg?fit=599%2C300)

Fishing, fighting, and f'g!
That's how real man do it!

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d8/fe/ae/d8feae7ea0d6c92e777e9e2641fc9482.jpg)