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Hotel scams in St. Petersburg

We are planning a trip to Russia this spring and my husband heard from someone who had been there, they had a problem at their hotel when they went to check in. They said their papers weren't in order and had the police come and they had to pay some fines. They later found out it is a scam that the hotel and police are both in on. Has anyone else heard of such a scam? My husband it really nervous now!!

Posted by
3462 posts

" Has anyone else heard of such a scam? " The short answer is , NO , I have not encountered anything that remotely resembles what you suggest . In a court of law , what you advance here would immediately be dismissed as " hearsay " . Who did your husband talk to ? Which hotel was involved ? How did they determine this was a conspiratorial scam if , indeed , there were problems with their documents ? St Petersburg is full of reputable hotels , and I have great difficulty in imagining what you claim is taking place , especially without providing substantive fact . I spent considerable time in St Petersburg last autumn , and found it much like every other European capital city I have visited . Was the hotel you speak of a " mainstream " establishment or a " below the radar " find ? Specifics would help to clarify this . Or , is your husband just looking for an excuse to avoid going to Russia ?

Posted by
8293 posts

I'm with Steven in being very, very skeptical about this. Sounds like the usual "a friend of a friend's baby sitter" tale. Pay it no mind.

Posted by
6 posts

I, too, would pay it no mind. I have spent considerable time in St. Petersburg on 5 different occasions and have never experienced or heard of such a scam.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for your reposes!! That is how I felt, too!! The girl he talked to at his work had been to St. Petersburg, but I don't know who she got her info from. My husband was worried and I said, don't worry, I know how to find out!! Thanks!!! I am so excited for our trip!! Just trying to figure out visas now.

Posted by
3462 posts

Glad to hear that this worked out ! I just came in from an afternoon walk , I'll get back to you a little later with the Visa information . I'm assuming you are here in the States - What area ? I ask only to judge where the nearest Russian Consulate and visa processing agency is for you . There are numerous places that can do it , but the most direct way is ILS which is contracted by the Russian Federation . St Petersburg is a wonderful place , you will love it .

Posted by
6632 posts

You don't even get into Russia without your papers in order. All you need is your passport and a Russian Visa and you don't clear the airport without the visa (we saw someone carted off by police AT the airport immigration). Sounds bogus to me and if it happened to me I'd be sitting in jail after calling the US Embassy before I paid a fine.