Known Scams Targeting Foreigners In Odessa, Ukraine

Introduction

No-matter where you go as a foreigner there are going to be tricks, scams, and dangerous situations that you need to learn to avoid. I have described below the scams in Odessa, Ukraine that I am aware of and want to warn you that this is in no way intended to be a complete list. As always as a traveler your best defense is your awareness and avoiding bad situations before they escalate into something more dangerous.

First a story about John

I was inspired to write this post after speaking to an old friend that I had met during my last trip to Odessa. I have changed his name in this post to protect his safety and dignity. I met John at a bar one night called Mick O’Neills. John was sitting there drinking tea and we chatted as I proceeded to have more to drink than I probably should have. I mention this because John does not drink heavily. I have sat with him at Mick O’Neills more times than I can count as John was living in Odessa during one of my longer trips. He also is not known as the kind of guy that would be indulging in prostitutes or any other obvious risky behavior. The only thing about John that was risky to his personal safety is being overly nice to a fault. When I first met him I actually suspected he may be targeting me for something because of how interested he was in talking to me. Over-time John became one of my favorite American’s living in Odessa, Ukraine. So what happened to John? John met a man in Odessa and after a night of hanging out together John saw his new friend the next day. His friend informed him that been kicked out of his apartment by his wife and was without a place to stay. Being the upstanding citizen and friend that John is he quickly invited this man to sleep on his couch for a night. Together they walked home and on the way the man bought a beer. Once they got back to John’s apartment they poured the beer equally into two glasses to split and soon there-after John falls to the ground while being fully conscious but completely paralyzed. John had been drugged. He can see the man moving quickly throughout his apartment gathering cash, jewelry, electronics and anything else valuable. The man then made a cellphone call explaining to the person on the other end that he could not find John’s passport but thinks he got everything else. The man then took a pair of rubber gloves out of his jacket and put them on before washing the glasses they used for the drink and left. Luckily John had hid his passport and some emergency cash because this man had taken everything he owned. I could tell John was traumatized by this event and he has shared with me that he now suffers from PTSD.

Odessa Airport Taxi

This scam is actually rather harmless and I have mentioned it in a prior post. When you arrive in Odessa International Airport (ODS) you will be approached by taxi drivers in the terminal who want to give you a ride to your hotel. This ride will cost you 600-800 UAH ($20-30 USD) or really as much as they can get. In general, its usually a real taxi driver and a safe ride but using your phone to hail an Uber will only cost 60-90 UAH ($2-3 USD).

Prostitutes

If you spend some time in Odessa you will at some point be propositioned by a prostitute. First off, I want to mention that in Ukraine prostitution is illegal and indulging in this activity could definitely get you arrested. Secondly, prostitutes in Odessa are notoriously known by the locals for drugging foreigners and robbing them blind. In general, I don’t have a problem with people who decide to work in the sex industry. I believe this should be their personal decision. With this being said I still recommend against even talking to these girls because even if you don’t take them home there is a strong chance that they will be trying to pick your pocket, slip something in your drink, or talk you into disclosing critical information so that other cons can target you later.

Dating Apps

After spending some time in Ukraine curiosity had gotten the best of me and I decided to open Tinder to see what the local dating market is like. As I began swiping right I noticed that I was matching with an abnormal amount of women. Upon messaging these girls I noticed that they are all super interested in me and looking to meet up immediately. This gave me a serious red flag and I declined their invitations for a date. After speaking with some other American’s I learned that a common con is for these girls to invite a foreigner on a date and then order everything on the menu. This would typically be fine but these girls have special arrangements with certain restaurants and men on dates are given “special pricing” which can be 2-3x the normal price of the restaurant. In return the girls earn a commission of the sale. I also would not be surprised to hear that your date goes “extremely well” and the girl wants you to take her back to your hotel. In this case, I have heard of foreigners being drugged and robbed by their lover.

Muggings

This sort of violent crime usual happens at night and is pretty strait forward. You will be walking in a dark area and be approached by a stranger with a knife or gun requesting your wallet and cell phone. I have heard of this happening to several foreigners especially in the Arcadia Beach area. If you are targeted by this exploit the best thing you can do is remain calm, keep your movements very predictable, and comply with your attacker. No material item is worth your life so don’t be a hero. Give them your stuff and move on. The only time that it is acceptable to fight back in this situation is when you think your attacker may harm you regardless of your compliance. Also, do everything in your power to avoid turning your back to your attacker. You need to see whats going on with the weapon and get a read on your attackers intent.

ATM Card Skimmers 

The ATM’s in Odessa, Ukraine are very susceptible to skimmers due to the current economic situation in Ukraine. I’m not sure how they get installed but they are able to get your debit card information and your pin number. I have fallen pray to this exploit more than once. My advice is that if you want to take money from ATM do it at the nicest hotel in the city where you can visibly see security posted 24/7. After you identify the ATM you will use stick to your plan and make your withdrawals only from this one machine. This way if your card is compromised you know what ATM to avoid in the future. After using ATM machines in Ukraine make sure to monitor your account for unauthorized activity. A good tactic is to open a new checking account prior to your trip and transfer small increments of cash to this account for ATM withdrawal as needed. This way if your card is compromised you are not left without a way to access your money and the damages will be limited.

Dating Agencies

This is an extremely common scam targeting foreigners. I have spoke to many American’s in Odessa, Ukraine that have fallen pray to this scam and it has in some cases costed them >$20,000 USD. The way that it works is that you will email these women through a dating agency service each email costs you $5-7 USD and you can pay more for Skype or telephone contact. These girls are beautiful and will suspiciously fall in love with you even if your 60 years old and they are in their early 20’s. After months of email and Skype contact you will be invited to visit them in Odessa where you can get to know each other better. You will pay a large to the agency for the opportunity to meet and court these women.  To your surprise despite their excellent english on Skype they will request that you hire a translator for your date. The fee for translation service will be ~$50 per hour. The women often then will recommend extremely expensive restaurants where they will receive a commission for the money you spend. The restaurants are able to pay this commission because you will receive special pricing (2-3x the normal price). After the girl you are courting detects that you have spent as much money as your able to on courting them you will be informed by the agency that she just isn’t interested.

Corrupt Authorities 

I have heard many reports of corruption amongst Ukrainian authorities. The one scam that I’m particularly aware of happened to another American I spoke to that spent some time in the Arcadia Beach Area. He was approached late at night by what appeared to be a police man and asked for identification. He presented his passport and was informed that he was in a dangerous area and for his own safety he must pay 500 UAH ($18 USD) for a police escort home (by foot). In this situation I would recommend complying and would avoid asking for badge numbers or other identifying information.In most cases you are being extorted by a figure of authority and by nature could be accused of crimes you did not commit. However, if they are offering you a escort by vehicle DO NOT COMPLY UNLESS YOU SEE IDENTIFICATION.

Closing Thoughts

Again, this is in no way intended to be a complete list of scams targeting foreigners and American’s in Odessa, Ukraine. I have only shared with you the scams and cons that I am personally aware of. In general, your best defense as a traveler will always be to maintain a heightened state of personal awareness. I also do not want to make Odessa, Ukraine sound overly dangerous. Odessa is a wonderful city full of very kind and helpful people. The fact of the matter is that no-matter what city you visit there are dangerous areas and situations to avoid. As travelers the best thing we can do for our personal security is be aware of the risks associated to each city so that we can better avoid them. I will also be releasing a post later this week with general safety tips for travelers and will link to it here when it becomes available.

Are you aware of a scam or con that isn’t listed here that targets foreigners in Odessa, Ukraine? Post about it in the comments below to help keep fellow travelers informed!

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13 thoughts to “Known Scams Targeting Foreigners In Odessa, Ukraine”

  1. Very good tips. I like hearing about new scams. Watched the TV show “The real Hustle”. Know almost all the scams out there.

    Sad story about John. Heard stories of it happening in Philippines too. They spike the beer with drugs and you wake up without your money or cell phone. Common scam in many countries.

    I’m planning on visiting Odessa & Kherson cities in April 2018. I live in America and i’m a member of a dating site. No membership fees. They offer Romance tours to meet hundreds of woman per night.
    After the romance tours i will go back to America and return within a few months. I will likely use airbnb to find a place for long term stays.
    I have been a victim of the money scams in Philippines. Girls asking for money and expecting me to pay for everything. Not going to fall for that one again.
    Once they ask me for money or give a BS story about a sick relative needing money, i block them on FB. I don’t put up with that bullS**t anymore. Love the angry messages from them using another account, saying i’m such a bad guy for blocking them and not sending them money. hahahaha

    I’m a good guy but cautious. Not going to even bother looking in Kiev for a girlfriend. Not interested in big city girls, heard they have the same attitude as American girls.

    Are there any books or travelers guide you would recommend for Ukraine?

    Thanks

  2. There are a large number of women from Ukraine contacting men online who are obviously
    attempting to scam them for Passport, Visa, Air Fares, Travel Expenses. Odessa is now
    being featured quite often – do you have any details against which people like myself can
    check please – including photographs? I realise that these ‘women’ may be Ghanaian or
    Nigerian, etc. so am not placing a slur on the Ukraine!

    1

    1. Hi BaliRob,

      I think the most important thing to consider is that if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. I have spent alot of time sitting with American’s in Ukraine and I have yet to hear a romance success story that started with “I met this girl online…”. I am not saying it is impossible but I think highly unlikely.

      Safe travels,
      CEO

    2. My advice….DONT GO TO ODESSA…its my third and final trip…cant wait to get out of here…have dated 20 girls…maybe 1 honest girl amoing them…restaurant scammers mostly….yep…they are hot…but they are horrible human beings…ive come full circle on this… i now take entitled western girls over these sick individuals….some say they just surviving like everyone else….sure…ok…but no longer on my dime…this is one fucked up place….dont waste your time and money…gl

  3. I am in Odessa now. I was approched by tinder scam women to go to a night club named “stereo”, far from centre city where drinks for foreigners are overpriced at 1 500 Usd. These girls were really looking clever and trusty. Be careful. I attach their profile pics. Good luck to everybody

  4. I am in Odessa, met girl from dating site. Yes she ordered translater, 20 USD per hour. They both ordered meals and let me pay finally. Also they asked for 🚖 costs to pay. The translater seemed to me corupt. It seems to be very common behavior to them. They are only interested in money and spending it.

  5. Read about the international dating agency scams in Guardian Newspaper (circa 2015) and thought I would check it out myself, having looked into some 15+ years ago in Russia. First let me say, there is no reason a young beautiful girl cannot find a nice guy in Russia or Ukraine today, if she will only look and not be looking for easystreet. And if she is looking for easystreet, it will be hard luck for the guy she latches onto. There was a time when Eastern Europe was lost in communism and not way to move up the ladder financially. Not true anymore, though it takes a lot of effort, just like anywhere. So anyone looking to leave their home country is just doing it for the money; few could really make a wise choice about moving to a new culture, so beware!

    Now, about this large agency. Contacted 10 or 12 ladies from the same site, and was only able to get three to actually meet after several chat sessions. This is the best clue that they are chatting for pay, and the chances are, they are not even the girls whose picture you saw. (More on that later.) And that is even true of two of the three I met! Video is a scam, unless you pay the premium rate to have audio with video. They use loop video without audio otherwise. And the girls are often not the people you think you are talking to.

    Of those I did not meet, two resigned from the site, confessing it was largely a scam for getting girls paid to chat. I was open and honest about myself and my research with the girls up front. Some denied it, but others just kept on talking. Two of the girls chatted very genuinely, and I even got email address from one, so we corresponded outside the site, though we never met. Both of these girls said they quit to pursue legitimate careers in their lives, and found most the guys who visit the site disgusting in the chat room. The majority I talked to were very shallow in conversation and just wanted to chat romance and sex, which is what they get paid for, and one seemed very nice, and admitted she would not be interested in someone twice her age (she was as best I could tell, the only real person with genuine intent).

    She was 20. We visited a time or two, and then after a month, she wrote me and asked if I would chat briefly. We exchanged Skype accounts and chatted outside the site, and I ultimately went and met her just as a friend to see Belgrade, which I had never visited. Had a great evening with her and some of her friends. She did some digging for me by asking her girlfriend who got her involved in the site, and confirmed that girls are solicited and paid for not only chatting and letter writing, but for just letting their picture and profile be used.
    They do model shoots and that’s about it. If a “mark” is spotted, they will meet and find ways to fleece them for money. The agency people train them and tell them how to behave and what to say. She said a girlfriend of hers got her involved and she hated it. I went and met her to say hello and just to say thanks for being honest. We touch base a couple times over the past year.

    The second lady I met put me off meeting for several months. She was genuine, talking about her son, dream homes, etc., very classy. But would not meet until she returned home to Kharkiv and had free time. (She was listed in Serbia, but also in Lviv, Ukraine at one point. ) I was interested in finding out how legitimate her feelings where, so I asked what we might do other than just dinner on a first meeting. She said that we would go for a walk in the city park (very nice, by the way), and just hangout at food stands. Well,on meeting day, she showed up in high heels decked out with her interpreter. Said they were glad to make time to meet me. Of course, I am underdressed by comparison, and angry from the outset, since the set-up was obvious. After paying a $20 cab ride for her and the interpreters fee for a couple hours, we parted company. THe lady said she would make time for me the next day, because I had come so far to see her, as if we had no rapport from chats. But she was the lady in the pics. We went to the park the next day with her son for three hours and had a good time, but no interest on her part. She worked for the agency and later admitted it, and said she felt guilty for the trouble, but she still works there to this day.

    The third lady, actually the first i actually met, I recognized all the tricks in the book. Wants to go shopping for clothes and perfumes (even after asking to bring perfume as a gift), needs $50 for baby sitter for the day, needs taxi money for $20 (because she lives on the outskirts of the city) (when she really only lived a few blocks away).

    The very first meeting was at a nice hotel restaurant for dinner, followed by two days of tours around Odessa. Very enjoyable, but very expensive. Pay interpreter by the hour, and pay daily “nanny” fees. She said she would like me to return to know her better and she would find an apartment to save money on hotels. She did, but at greatly marked up prices. All the nice apartments are rented on booking.com or dobovo.com, and rates can be verified. The general rule is they double or triple the price, and find the limit by asking what the max is you are willing to pay. I suspected as much, and researched and refused to pay the fee if it wasn’t lowered. The lady I was seeing fretted greatly, and then came back and dropped the price 20%, but then she cleaned the place daily, as if it was a deal worked out with the landlord. Then I booked direct on a return visit, and the look on the faces of the girl and the landlord when we arrived to pick up the key was priceless. I was renting this two-bedroom apartment for $35, versus the $100 they originally charged.

    Proof of the chat scam? This girl is never online live, and the agency has someone chat on her behalf and uses loop video. The second visit, I returned to my apartment, and as soon as I got inside, I logged on and there she was available on chat. First, she could not possibly be home yet, and so I engaged with video (without sound); it was not the clothes she was wearing when she dropped me at the apartment. I asked how her day was and what was the best part of her day was and what she enjoyed most. She said it was just another day in Odessa; she had stayed home most of the day and really enjoyed a fresh pineapple drink she had made herself for dinner. I told her it was late, and I would go to bed. Wished her a good night. The very next morning, the lady and her interpreter came by to pick me up and they immediately said just ignore the chat last night. She was tired and confused and didn’t realize she was talking with me. Well this was gold–I have copies of the chats and other documentation. So, I’ve stuck with this girl off and on for a year to see how far it would go. Each trip is spending from start to finish; of course, I can say no and often do. Never any sex; she spends the night occasionally, but always curled up in a blanket like in a cocoon. She is always got a problem or a period, or other health issue, for which she says she needs medical help. She has documented reports showing some of this, so the girls at the agency are well-trained and have either falsified documents, or there happens to be some bit of truth to her ailments, which by the way, according to known medical research sites, indicate extremely harsh sex, or genetic defect is the cause. I have gone to doctors with her, but wait in waiting room, and often she asks twice the money to pay the bill. I pay direct mostly. I had her investigated several months ago, and found that she was a well-known escort about town, visiting some seedy parts of town at night for a couple hours at a time. She worked for a guy that was watched by the police, but they chose to watch him, rather than bust him. They say “he is a really bad dude.” Indication is that some of the girls get in debt and he bails them out of it and provides them a cheap place to live and they in turn work for him. Slave trade, bascially. This girl, seemed to fit the bill. Once you are around them enough, they make many mistakes, and the patterns become clear. And you do it only for the intrigue, as sex is not to be found. Which is strange, since they are in it for the money. This girl, starting first of the year, starting traveling abroad on exotic trips.
    She has entered a new league. She claims to have been raped once, which is why she is so cold, but I actually think I am a safe haven for her, so she let’s her guard down a lot. But she is clearly not interested in me romantically, but still plays the game. Wanting to buy something for what will be “our apartment” in the future.
    Lying is a way of life, and you could never believe how convincing they are. On three occasions, I ahve found evidence (through investigation and online searches) that she flat out lies about things, and when confronted, simply lies and says it is not true, even with pictures staring her in the face. The girl has since started taking exotic trips so has stepped it up to the next level. This is another tall tell sign to watch out for. These girls are secretative, and swear they do not trust men because they have been abused. I call her the “sparrow”. I see a facial expression once in a while that is genuinely loving and innocent. But because of a husband leaving her with a child for another woman, she has become vindictive and emotionally abusive to men through her actions. I can see there is no way to help, no way to buy their way out, because they do not know how to behave properly or to spend wisely. It is all about how they feel today, and hope they can get ahead, or find the one deep pocket that they can tolerate to live a better life, until they can get out of their survival mode and see life as they should. I hate to say it, but they have gotten to be worse than the men that have probably abused them without even knowing it. Quite sad. This story is not over, though the end is near for me.

    Just be aware, if you are using an agency, or flitting about town in Eastern Europe and are approached, 99.9% chance you are a target. Agencies have no reason to exist, and are $100+ million businesses (according to Guardian Newspaper). There is absolutely no reason to engage with an agency unless you have money to waste, look for expensive intrigue as I have done. And be careful. You are in danger, as the authorities have warned me.

  6. Your blog is right on. May I share my experience and the result of investigations?

    One agency, AnastasiaDate.com, is a racket that was written up in the Guardian Newspaper (UK) a couple years ago. That agency based in Malta hires girls to work the phones, and to run scams. Whether that is at the corporate level or at the local office level, remains to be proven, but corporate certainly provides the tools to do so. They are complicit for sure. They claim to not keep details of chats, but one time I challenge a charge and they read it back to me.

    For starters, so many times you are not talking to the girl you think you are. Even if you are, some of those even are paid just to chat. If you engage in video, the video is prerecorded and runs in a loop, unless you have live two-way video, in which case they still may not be the girl you think they are.

    Having read the Guardian before going online after a marital split with a Russian lady after 13 years, I had known her for 4 years before getting married, and I still, after 13 years, did not fully understand what she experienced moving to USA from Russia and how that contributed to marital failure. I thought I would run my own investigation. I wanted to understand the mindset of these ladies, so I spent some money and some time–a lot of it–and I got answers.

    I met five girls, two of which were in major cities. four were agency hires (self-admitted), and the fifth has since become one, if she wasn’t already. I suspect this fifth one may have been trying to investigate me on behalf of the agency, after a couple incidents I uncovered with two others. She said she did not like the agency and wanted to rat them out. Recently, I noticed she changed her phone to a Malta phone number. She is now on the inside or her phone was given to someone else who did it? She has not responded to my private inquiries, yet, anyway.

    I went to Odessa to meet a girl over a year and a half ago. The very first day we spent out, I went online 15 minutes after I was dropped at my apartment, and she was on chat. Funny, the girl represented as her did not know we had been out for the day, and described her day as staying in and being bored, because it was cold outside. I said good night and never revealed she spent the day with me. I have copies of the chat. Next morning, the girl and her interpreter returned and said to ignore last night’s chat, that she was tired and didn’t understand so well what I was asking…this really happened. During this trip, they (her and her agency interpreter/handler) had my three days filled with entertainment and activities. She charged for a nanny and taxi rides and arranged for the apartment, all for good profit.

    I kept seeing this girl, who told me she had an autistic child and her husband had cheated on her and left her when the child was young (4 or so years prior). During this trip she begged for money constantly. She would run into perfume stores, clothing stores, jewelry stores and pick out things for me to buy. I declined in every case. She even took me to a grocery store, and filled a cart with food; I admit, this one blew my mind at first, but I paid for the groceries.

    After a couple visits, I told her I would get a visa for her and she could travel with me. She gave me all the information on herself, her son, her family. I did this with genuine desire to see if she would travel, but I also wanted to know who she really was, so I had her investigated. The attorneys I contacted for a business dealing said they could get me an investigator, and that they did. Someone who didn’t want to be known, but they got solid information, much of which was probably not normally accessible to just any one.

    Her child needed special school, and she said she had to pay $500/month; investigators called the school under false names and learned her school was free, but special assistance could be had for $50, $100 or $200 per month, depending on how much time was to be devoted; but they said the most anyone ever paid was $250 for a month. Her child for a while was in an institution and at another time was out sick for two months (verified by doctor visits and bills). She still said she needed nanny fees, school fees (which were only when service was used), and so on. She kept asking for $500, even though I said I talked to the school and they said it was on a weekly basis and would not be more than $250 for a month. Being found in a lie made no difference. She still asked.

    She always asked for 2-3 times the money she needed. For example, she used a family member and sometimes a friend to sit with her child for the time she was out, and she would spend the night so she could charge more for “nanny fees”. She offered to help find me an apartment, and booked a nice one for $100/night, saying it was high season. I found the same apartment online for $40/night, and learned that high season ended two months prior, which I already new. I refused to pay the high rate, and we negotiated. On the next trip, I went online, and found the same apartment and booked direct. Before arriving, she asked if I wanted her to book the apartment again, and I said no, I had already taken care of it. The landlord never knew my name, but the look on her face and on this girl’s face when I went to pick up the key was incredible. They both knew they had been had. She still stuck with me. She liked me buying dinners and going to movies, just to collect nanny fees, with the hopes I would also buy her stuff. I would concede and buy groceries. When she spent the night, she would wrap up in blankets like a cocoon and come up with all sorts of excuses not to get intimate, from S.T.D.s to genetic defects of the uterus that made it painful, monthly cycle and so on. She even had medical reports.

    She would beg for rent assistance at $450/month, but investigators i had hired said her place was $200 – 225/month, not to mention that it was owned by an escort service and used as a dwelling for escorts. When I learned she moved this past spring, I contacted the landlord who said they would rent to me for $225/month.

    In March this year, she was in a major auto accident (seen on YouTube and verified by seeing her totally beat up face, legs and arms, and through police reports). She said she had taken a taxi to a pharmacy (hey, they are on every street corner) at 21:00. But the police report had almost 01:00 and she was with a bag and belongings with a foreign man with a middle eastern name. Her trip plans got cancelled due to the accident. When I arrived a couple weeks after the accident, she said she needed to pay the hospital, when in fact, investigators had already told me the the man she was with that night had already paid (confirmed through the hospital and whose name was learned through the police report of which I have translated copies). She denied it, but I still didn’t pay.

    Generally, she claimed she was a hairdresser, but couldn’t make enough to warrant doing it. She loved to cook, but didn’t want the pitiful life her mother had as a cook, and so on. Why not, if she could sell her beauty (and her soul in the process… the effects of communism stripping religion out of society, I guess).

    Just to see if she had equipment, I had her cut my hair once, and she did a great job. She had the right equipment and knew what she was doing. But obviously she could make more as an escort, even without sex, by all the deceit tactics she had learned and continued to be coach on (I could see her improve her skills over time). Her so-called friends are in the agency and they support each other cheering on their successes and helping to teach each other. And they certainly don’t want someone lesser off than themselves to succeed in life and leave, or they would have no one to make them feel better about themselves.

    To give you some more insight, when I met her on one visit after her injuries, all she could talk about was how ugly she was, despite the fact she could have been killed. Her nose was cut, her front teeth damaged, and it appeared she could lose an eye, as it was blood red and appeared to have a lens hanging loose. I helped her for 2-3 weeks, during which time she admitted to me that the agency paid her for use of her name and photos, and that she never worked the chat lines. She said she had borrowed money from them and needed to return to work so she could try to pay them off.

    I did verify the continued chatting using her name and video periodically by logging in on my phone and saw her in chat when in fact she was with me at a restaurant, or even in the apartment at night while watching a movie. I tried to get her to travel with me on four occasions, and she always said yes, and maybe she would be well enough after a few days away to have sex. We never took any trips; she always canceled at the last minute. I suspect she was relatively new to the game, as she gave me all personal information to help complete a visa application. After it was filed, she got scared and asked me to cancel it. Of course she said her mother needed her to come and help her and that we would go another time. But that gave me all the information I needed to verify who she was, what she was, and what she did. Investigators had a field day, saying: the guy she runs with owns an escort service and the authorities followed him closely; said they learned more by watching him than if they arrested him. And arresting him would do no good, since there were so many like him, that the girls would just move on to someone else.

    The investigators had access to classified information and surveilled her for a period of time. Even when I was in town, and out for dinner with her, when she left to supposedly go tend to her son, she was followed to other restaurants, and behaved accordingly.

    Why did I pursue this for more than a year? Because I was intrigued how far this lady would go. I saw her more than a year and a half, and I only saw her genuinely smile with true joy and innocence once. When she was injured and helped me find a dress for my daughter, she held up a dress of a princess and you could see she still had some joy in her heart through her smile. Her total complexion changed. That was the only time. She was continuing to be schooled, as I have seen her tighten up her stories, close off access to social media, and more. During this time she entered the realm of international escort, and pictures showed up online of her in Greece, Israel & Egypt. She wore an agency modeling dress on one trip that appeared on her social media page, but not knowing I was aware, told me when she delivered it to a lady’s apartment after picking up at the cleaners that she could not get it when she wanted. She had done a photo shoot for the agency. Maybe so, in Egypt! I told her to quit lying, and confronted her with facts, and she denied each and every one. She has since made at least two other trips, and she never looked happy in any of them.

    On one of my last visits, I met a prostitute at a bar one night, and told her I would buy her a drink or two if she would just talk to me about these girls. We had late night dinner and she enlightened me on the workings of the escort and prostitution world in Odessa. This lady herself was from Russian, but came there because she liked the work, and liked the money. I suspect the man she was with as her body guard and partner was her husband. She told me one of the girls was driven by her husband, and I suspect she was referring to herself.
    With my line of questioning, she knew I had done my homework, and she was nervous.. At one point, she went silent, but then after some coaxing, opened up. She said girls from early age in former Soviet countries, were told to never say what they truely felt or believed, because it was not the woman’s place in society. They will lie boldly when it is shown to them openly. That is how bad it is. They are fearful of men beating them and treating them poorly, and many eastern men (at least of the old school and many of the new) look at women as their sub-servient partners. And I have seen this attitude throughout Russia and Ukraine first-hand. What these girls don’t realize is that there are men, especially from western, judeo-christian cultures, that are not these “bad men”, but they are not willing to take the chance. Yet these girls have enslaved themselves to agencies, escort services, and others for bailing them out of hardship and giving them a false sense of hope that never quite materializes, unless they are smart enough to score big. Their end game is to survive.

    Agencies make tons of money, these girls find a way to survive by every imaginable means, and they may even fear for their lives. Their idea of happiness is to escape the struggle at any cost, as opposed enjoying life and being genuine or learning what is possible in a modern western culture. They have sold their soul, which they do not understand because they were raised differently. For the guys who use these sites, these is lots of sex talk along with a lot of other ways to waste money. Other ladies said that was most of it. But in Odessa and other resort towns, it is much more about the con.

    For serious relationship seeking individuals, you only have to ask yourself–if you are over 50, why is a girl in their 20s even half way interested in you, when there are plenty of young men available in their own city, which they claim to love (not initially of course, that’s part of their con). One need only sit back and see a split culture in a city like Odessa, with modern shopping malls, expensive restaurants and hotels, and on the other side, back street markets, escort girls rooming together to survive, and more. These young girls do have a choice right in their own back yard, so why would they be interested in someone much older–simple–money. It is a conscious choice, though maybe it runs deeper than they originally intended. Only one in 5,000 are probably interested in truly finding a mate from another culture or country. They want to stay where family is, with what they know…or they want money to see the world, which they figure they will never see any other way than through a con.

    As for the agencies (not just the one, but all), there are probably (by the prostitute’s estimate) some 2-3000 girls working the scams in Odessa alone. 70% do it because they know no other way, and probably half of these engage in sexual acts because they feel they must. The remainder of the girls do it because they like it and can make good money, even though they don’t necessarily need to do it.

    Bottomline, these agencies should be shut down; but unfortunately, it seems the authorities feel the world has far bigger problems than dealing with these type of issues. It is really sad. In a way, it is a form of human trafficking. But noone takes it serious, except those who live it.

    As a final note, the young lady I saw for over a year and one-half, texts me periodically, asking for money, or when I will return. I’ve told her no to money, yet she still rights. I do have a trip to Odessa again scheduled next month…on her last text message, I declined her money, and told her I would be there in October. She said she would try to make time for me. I said, that’s ok. You have your chosen life, and I have mine. I added, I might make time to have dinner one night, to which she said, I would like that. It would be with great pleasure. Who knows what that means…she knows after all this time that I know the truth about her. So now what. I will return to Odessa, because I have business there. Whether I will actually see her, I don’t know. Maybe my curiosity will take me there. But I’ve learned all I care to learn. It is a sad world we live in. I wish I could make it right, for at least her, but she chose it, and she is the only one who can change it.

  7. Hello everyone… the hustle is super strong and real in Ukraine. I’ve been here 2 years. Kiev, odessa nikoleav now. Be ready, the game starts when you make contact. 9 out of 10 are ready to play the game, these people teach each other the tricks. If you come, make smart decisions. Think about yourself, always. The right girl will meet over coffee or something cheap. But this hardly happens. Clubs, bars, drinks… smoke, it’s all to make you pay pay pay… and it starts with pay my taxi and I will go to you. The right girl will know to take the bus or subway. Its 0.10s hide everything, the girls play the game with 10 guys at a time… it’s a payday

  8. An Odessa / Ukraine Tinder Warning to all……is this a scam, I’m not sure yet ?
    Quite a long one for you guys, but stick with it, your opinion is appreciated !

    So I just spent a week in Odessa partly due to close off some work there and partly to elaborate on a Tinder thing that had been going on for some time. It sounds like an asshat thing to say right off the bat, but it’s very obvious due to my profession, wealth is something that naturally follows with it, and it’s not exactly something you can hide when arriving by private jet at the world smallest airport and the tinder date insists on picking you up…..however, I will note I speak fluent Russian so there wasn’t much could be slid past me and being very ware of this article, I kept my eyes and ears pricked at all times……..I was surprised to see she was driving a brand new Ford Focus. This did seem unusual to me as my research detailed that a higher end income in Odessa was around $500 a month……..

    For names sake let’s call the Tinder date Kate for now and depending how this pans out I may name and shame later, depending on how much of a scam this has transpired to be…….

    After a very quick meal things progressed very quickly post dinner to the bedroom. OK I’m a guy and I’m not going to refuse to hit the sack with a stunning girl, whatever the motivation ! Kate spent most of the week with me, now despite quite liking this girl there was a lot that did not add up in a lot of places over the week, now I’m back home (Well not in Odessa anyway) things have taken turns that don’t stack up even further.
    So I’m open to opinion as to what others think on the situation.

    So Kate originally was from the war torn region of Luhansk, where her separated parents and ex-deadbeat husband still reside and she was living in an apartment in Odessa (supposedly for free) that belonged to a family that had emigrated to the USA with her 9 year old son. Kate was self employed in the beauty industry, but for the 6 days I had free In Odessa she supposedly cancelled her client list.

    Now interestingly, Kate is allowed to live in this apartment for free BUT at the request of the ultra conservative owners, supposedly is not allowed to have visitors or guests, especially male ones. I have Skyped on several occasions with Kate but it must always be at a pre-planned specific time, she must always be given time to prepare and it is always from a bedroom where she cannot be disturbed.

    Now a few things did not sit right with me during this week, namely she told me that she wanted a “Keepsake” so she could think of me, I did not disagree with the sentiment, so we proceeded to go shopping…..

    The keepsake she settled on was a $500 pair of diamond earrings……now where I come from, despite wealth, a keepsake to me is something like a photo frame with a photo of the two of you in it. I didn’t refuse, I let it run………the shopping stop also ran to $200 of perfume and cosmetics and another $250 or clothing etc (but later Kate got angry with me insisting she never intended me to pay for anything other than the “keepsake”)

    The second unusual thing was we visited a famous spa in the city for the day, now this by no means was a cheap day out Spa wise, considering the location $70 per adult for the day, plus treatments this was already a $200 day out. Now as I was leaving to pay the bill, I was sent a message from the changing room and she asked me to buy her a gift card so she could return to this spa with her son the following week…..oh and also could I book her a massage also…..another $150…..there always seemed to be ‘something extra’

    Now on top of this I will add, all of the time Kate spent with me, I had to pay for a babysitter. The manipulations strapline was “if you don’t pay for the babysitter then I can’t spend the time with you” – so I ended up paying for the babysitter at a rate of 800 UAH a day – now it transpired in the week that Kate (All of a sudden) needed to go to Kiev to a “Conference” and if I did not pay for a flight for her and the babysitter then she wouldn’t be able to spend any more time with me. OK, so I agreed and gave her yet more cash for the babysitter and agreed to fly her to Kiev and organise for a return flight to Odessa once I had left Ukraine.

    Now several inconsistencies happened once we parted in Kiev, she was meant to be staying with friends….yet had to call a random number to collect keys for an apartment she had never been to ???? When I questioned her on this, she said her friends owned the apartment but did not like in it, they were living in the far more dangerous Donetsk.
    She has an unusual number of friends who own but don’t live in empty apartments……

    So I have been home a couple of weeks and Kate and I would Skype on a daily basis, she made references to me that in the summer the family who own the apartment in Odessa will return and she will have no choice but togo back to the war region with her son…..

    Now, single mother, self employed, I’m not completely so Jaded I’ll take a chance on some things. She was telling me that she was indebted to a friend, and could not buy food, so I got her to set Paypal up. Knowing what a weeks food shopping costs, I started out by sending $60, just to get some groceries in, and I would assess and send what might be needed when it might be needed from there.

    WELL…..when she saw how much I sent SHE LOST HER S***, she started ripping into me. “you have a plane, you have X cars, you have X houses and you send me $60….I need at least $500 at minimum from you preferably $800, you think I’m cheap”

    So I let her have her tantrum and just went into ignore mode as I had to fly half way round the world as one of my children was seriously ill in hospital…but the messages didn’t stop.

    The latest one being, she has had a $400 heating bill that she has to pay immediately and the loan to the friend (if I don’t believe her she will send it to me !) so since I said I was not in a position to help…..complete silence….nothing……zero communication. I could help, I just don’t feel like being a walking ATM.

    And if I shared the list of what she considers “Monthly Essentials” on here…you would laugh your a$$ off – and this is mainly the reason why I’m just not throwing the cash at her.

    So what’s the consensus……………?

  9. I am in Odessa Ukraine May 12 to May 20, 2019 i met Anastasia online Ukraine date .com very beautiful 26yr old i am 47 she is a dermatologist never asked for money online in 1.5 months of Viber app talks. Everything seems okay her and cousin pick me up at airport as she promised me. She recommended hotel Victory Star its a nice clean hotel it was her birthday so i spent $12,250.00 UAH = $480 USD we had french wine appetizers second course meal lots of oysters. Not to alarming. Second day Anastasia and her cousin were 1.5hrs late to meet me at hotel call me and say we are downstairs and they insist on eating lunch at hotel i do not order lunch cost 3,120.00 UHA i quickly explain how i do not spend a $120 for lunch everyday muchless any day.

    I call my Kiev special weapon friend and she said be careful if she really likes you or loves you she will not waste your money like that on food a real Slavic woman knows the value of a good man and money. So same day after i tell them no more eating at hotel i want to see Odessa and spend quality time together we walk and talk i talk about how i need to feel and see affection from my woman and i do not get anything unless i reach for her hand. We went into mall they look at perfume i call my American friend who is married to Ukrainian woman, he said its possible scam and to switch hotel and do not let ladies take me to expensive restaurants.

    Meanwhile cousin who is translating although Anastasia speaks good enough English, is saying there father spoil his intelligent smart educated daughters. I need to understand Slavic culture and Slavic woman needs.🤣😄😆 i really had to watch my mouth although I really wanted to lay into her about what a woman needs to do for her man. Anyway we went to movie and went to dinner at different restaurant i asked to go to local place and i still wound up spending $200 for dinner. So in 1.5 days i have spent $800 in restaurants

    I am no stranger to Ukraine been to Kiev 4 times in past 2 years and got scammed by women on
    Dream marriage online dating marriage site. Went to pool party back in summer of 2017 my new translator friend saved me and told me about how this agency hires men and women to talk romacticly to unknowing foreign men online.

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