Police in the Krasnodar region are searching for two con artists who allegedly scammed two elderly women out of their money by pretending to be Ukrainian refugees.
The suspects, who appear to have taken advantage of recent news reports about refugees flooding into the country from eastern Ukraine, "selected their victims from among trusting pensioners," RIA Novosti cited a police spokesman as saying on Thursday.
The scheme reportedly saw the two scammers pose as forced migrants from Ukraine and ask the elderly women for their bank account details so that they could transfer money from their home account into a Russian one.
After supposedly transferring $10,000 into the account, they asked the women to 'return' the amount in rubles.
The two victims — 60 and 83 years old respectively — appealed to the police once they discovered they had been robbed.
Russia's Federal Migration Service has repeatedly sounded the alarm over an alleged influx of Ukrainian refugees in need of help, and state-run television channels have increasingly covered the plight of Ukrainians who have fled to Russia to avoid the ongoing violence between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.