How to Avoid Scams in Ukraine

Scams in Ukraine are overblown by most Westerners. BUT…I’ll never forget my first week in Ukraine…

  • I got hustled by a street performer, who literally threw a monkey on to me and demanded I pay him money. As I was arguing with him, another monkey trainer threw a second monkey on to my head and demanded the same.
  • I paid $12 for a bottle of water in a restaurant.
  • I paid $7 for a taxi ride that should have been more like $2.

At that point, I was really, really thinking what I was doing wrong. Eventually I concluded that I simply wasn’t being aware enough of what was going on.

In Ukraine, you will expect to pay a “Western tax.”

This means that people will charge you more simply because you are Western and they assume you have money–regardless of whether or not you do. The solution is to simply find a way to counter it. Never be put in those situations. Then you don’t have to worry about being scammed in Ukraine.

Let’s look at my three instances.

Scams in Ukraine: The Street Hustler

The best advice I can give is to simply walk very, very quickly past these guys and don’t say anything. Even if you say “Niat Spasibo” they may be able to detect a Western accent. Then they’ll swoop on you like carnivores. Simply wear sunglasses so they don’t know where you’re looking.

Don’t hesitate to use body language too, a hands up in protest or something of the sort.

Generally in this situation you should just keep walking and ignore them.

Scams in Ukraine: The Water Bottle

Crazily enough, it’s far, far cheaper to just drink beer or coffee in cafes than it is to drink water.

Whether that is a good thing or not is up to you! If you insist upon water, just make sure it’s not an expensive glass bottle. You can specify this by simply asking for the cheapest one. The water bottle scam is one of the most common scams in Ukraine.

Scams in Ukraine: The Taxi

Not really a scam in hindsight–simply put, they’ll charge more when you speak Russian.

Best to use Uklon or Uber to get around!

Have you been scammed in Ukraine?

Read More: Cost of a Date in Ukraine

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments

I have walked in Kiev many times of my own never seen any scame only one place in the night i saw some money on the ground which i knew was a trick so simply pass by coffee house and resturant did not charge me extra . and also what you wrote in Russian is not right word its Ni poshibo not Niet (Niet mean Not – Ni means No)

    Ukraine Living

    lol, no dude, you’re wrong regarding the language.


    Niet and Ni are two different words meaning the same thing. They both mean “No”. The first one is in Ukrainian while the second one is in Russian, that’s the only difference. The writer is right.


sorry you are right still learning need to learn some words again and again so many different phrase and some word has the same meaning like (mista (seat and also mean place ) and need to use the right phrase when speaking like ( whats her name – you can not say kak ono zavot have to say kak eeu zavot


Yes! The monkey people charged me 2000 Hyerva. The literaly threw the animals at me and startes to shout and punch. Stay the fuck away from them


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