Just a reminder that once in a while…there’s some bad people in the world.
I was walking home on my street last night. A man in front of me dropped a wad of US dollars. I stupidly picked it up and handed it back.
The oldest scam in the book.
A “cop” showed up a minute later.
What saved me?
Speaking enough of the local language.
It confused them and threw off their game. I think they thought I was a Middle Eastern foreigner. They were way out of their element when I started speaking Russian and then switching to native English.
I feel horrible. Nothing happened, but I should know better. That sickening feeling that you just got scammed has been with me for hours. I think it’s because it happened literally in front of my apartment – my guard was down.
Point is, learn a few words if you’re spending any significant time somewhere.
It might come in real handy…
The “cop” shows up. The guy who you gave the money *back* to says some is “missing”. They ask to see your pockets. Then, conveniently, the amount in your wallet is the exact amount “missing” from the guy who dropped it and the cop demands you give it “back”.
Kind of a weird feeling, even though nothing happened.
I felt, and still feel, sort of like garbage.
Like I got ripped off.
Like I said, I should know better. I’ve lived out here in Europe long enough. I just had my guard down, as I’d never seen this one pulled in Kiev before.
Anyways though, it’s a good, honest, lesson…
The latest podcast talks about a new city (for me) in Ukraine…Kharkiv.
Give it a listen:
Keep causing trouble,
PS: In Eastern Europe, it’s usually the dating scene that has all the scams…
You can learn more about dating in EE in my book, which is available here.