Russia is a big country full of beautiful landscapes and architecture. However, as it often happens with tourist attractions, they are notorious for crooks of different sort. To avoid unpleasant acquaintances we have gathered the most common scams which happen with tourists in Russia.
1. Taxi fraud
If you see a driver waving to you, inviting to join a trip for a quite democratic price and saying that he has a meter in his car, never trust such people. There are plenty of cases when tourists were deceived by such cheaters. In fact their "meters" almost never work, or work improperly, so that in the end the total amount for the ride seems crazy. However, they never let their clients go without the payment that they require. They can even sometimes lock the doors and extort the amount of money they want you to pay. It might be quite dangerous to argue with them, as they feel sure no punishment will follow. That is why we would rather recommend using the services of the reliable taxi companies only.
The best way to use the taxi in Moscow is to use the online apps. There're a lot of taxi applications now. You can find the most widely spread below:
Uber (Android / iOS)
Yandex (Android / iOS)
Gett (Android / iOS)
2. Photo scams
There are many people in the street who would also be happy to take away your money. Among them are the doves or owls owners, famous people doubles, life-size puppets, street actors covered with golden or silver paint and others who persistently offer you to take a picture with them. They hardly ever mention the price of this photo. In most cases they make you take the picture together first and then start exacting your money, often in a rude and aggressive way. The problem is that they are never satisfied with the amount you give them, and are always itching for more. So we would rather recommend to avoid them and using their services.
3. Guides on the spot
Once someone arrives in Moscow, they usually head to Red Square to see the Kremlin. It often happens that when newcomers see how big Moscow is and how easy it is to get lost here, they want to have a person accompanying them. There are plenty of so-called guides waiting for you at Red Square and nearby. They are easily recognized, as they have megaphones and offer tours for a low price. They are usually not aggressive or do any harm, but being non-trained they tell absolute nonsense about Russian history and culture, mixing up all the facts and making up stories that never happened. If you do not want to listen to some the low quality tour, we would rather recommend you to use the services of the official licensed guides only!
To learn more about different travel scams existing in Russia and other countries, visit the website of our partners: https://travelscams.org/