Not a joke - it was reported in Ukrainian media that a set of criminals had built a machine in the commercial centre of Kiev offering withdrawls with "no commission", obviously looking to target travellers who would normally be none the wiser.
When people inserted their card and tried to take their cash out, the machine spat out the message "Damage Of Equipment" - the card was stuck, and the crooks had access to the PIN.
also known as pay per letter dating (PPL) is a big business in the former Soviet Union republic, with thousands of Ukrainian women spending nights chatting with foreign men online.
Practices of PPL dating sites listing Ukrainian women are no secret: you must pay for every letter, chat, or minute of communication, much alike phone sex services advertised on the last pages of male magazines.
Some ads may seem like it’s a legitimate job of interpreting correspondence for a dating agency’s clients, while others don’t even attempt to mask the essence of the job.
An ad placed on the site says the following: We are seeking attractive girls, preferably of model appearance, for cooperation with our agency and receiving stable income. The essence of the work is to correspond with foreign men on a dating site (no intimacy! The foreigner pays to the site-company to use the services of the marriage agency, i.e. Men like to send gifts, starting from flowers, Iphones, tablets, photo cameras, and ending with precious stone jewellery. You can simply give it a try, it doesn’t oblige you to anything. If you don’t like it, you can leave, which I doubt;) With all questions, call or write to the email address here!!!
Aside from this criminal ingenuity, there have been wide reports of "card skimming" - where criminals videotape customers entering their PINs, or set up systems that allow the information on the card to be duplicated to a replica and used later.
But it's not just ATMs that have been a focus for technologically inclined criminals.
As a result of this, and without any regulatory bodies with any real clout to step in, there are many points for financial exploitation within Ukraine The Ukraine police forces are notoriously corrupt - bribes are solicited by police on a day to day basis, and in many cases, officers are paid off by criminals to turn a blind eye to crime - minor or major.