New variation on old scam

I live near Prospekt Mira and used to change money at any conveniently located Пункт Обмена. I would also grumble when I saw the phrase до 10,000 USD, because that exchange rate was 1 rouble lower than the от 10,000 USD rate.  Eventually, I looked around and saw some other places to change money including some which didn’t have two different rates. Plus, the rates were even better than the “over 10,000 USD” rate the others had.

So, I began to use these exchange points.

The other day I went to change $200. I said hello, put my money in the teller drawer, the one which closes as the teller pulls it towards her and opens on the other side, preventing customers (or unsavory folk) from reaching through and threatening the teller.

She carefully counted out the roubles: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 5100, and the rest. She put it in the drawer, I picked up the stack, stuffed it in my wallet and went on my merry way. I got home, fired up Quicken to record the transactions of the day, and came up 1000 roubles short.

I hadn’t done very much and since it was exactly 1000 roubles, I quickly realized I’d been shorted. But, I remembered quite distinctly seeing her count each 1000 note. But, there was no denying it. I only had 4 1000 rouble notes; she had stolen $40 from me.

I went back to yell at her, but there was a line and I was late for something else.

But, I went back a few days later to change a mere $100. I thought for sure it would be another person and that the amount wouldn’t be enough to short me.

It was amusing to watch the lady carefully count out 1000, 2000, 2500, etc. It was so blatant now, as if to say, “look, it’s all there. Don’t worry about counting it after it comes through the drawer. You’re feeling sleepy, very, very sleeeeeepy.” Then, in the drawer, close on her side, open on mine, pull the money out, fan it open and…. well, whaddya know?! I only see one 1000 rouble note. I look in the drawer. Nothing. I bend over look to the far end of the drawer, so far I can barely reach, and there’s the second 1000 rouble note.

Very clever.


Explore posts in the same categories: exchange, money, scam

2 Comments on “New variation on old scam”

  1. philosophisingwhitey Says:

    Wow, that’s unbelievable. But actually considering it’s Moscow, not really…

  2. Steve Fowler Says:

    Thank goodness not all Russians are like this..

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