Crime Information for Tourists in Moldova

Most travelers to Moldova enjoy a safe and pleasant stay. Occasionally, travelers become victims of crime, usually petty theft, but sometimes more serious fraud. Foreign visitors rarely suffer physical violence or sexual assault. Some U.S. citizens have reported theft of money, passports, and small valuables from hotel rooms and local apartments, along with home and office burglaries. Be careful and protect your valuables in Chisinau, just as you would in any major U.S. city.

Be cautious when using ATMs in Moldova. Some U.S. citizens have reported unauthorized access to their accounts after using ATMs (although banks sometimes post their fees later as separate transactions). They have also reported PIN theft from ATMs in Moldova, either by "skimming" devices, which record the card information, or by hidden cameras or "shoulder surfing."

Train and bus services are below Western European standards and some U.S. citizens have been robbed while traveling on international trains to and from Moldova. Be on your guard against pickpockets on public transit. U.S. citizens who use the Moldovan postal service have reported that international letters and package mail are sometimes opened or pilfered.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Internet fraud warning: There are various Internet scams in Moldova that target foreigners. Since 2008, "phishing" schemes have hacked the bank accounts of U.S. businesses and transferred the money to Moldova. Internet auction fraud, in which buyers fail to pay for purchases or send counterfeit checks as payment, is not uncommon.

Be aware of dating scams, in which someone you met over the Internet asks for money. They may say they need money to help their family, buy plane tickets, pay medical bills, provide "economic solvency funds," etc. A number of U.S. citizens have been defrauded. Fraud committed in Moldova is subject to Moldovan law and could prove difficult to prosecute. The U.S. Embassy can do little to assist U.S. citizens defrauded via the Internet. Please see our information on International Financial Scams.

If arrested: If you are arrested in Moldova, authorities of Moldova are required to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. However, Moldovan police, particularly in Transnistria, do not always report the arrest or detention of U.S. citizens. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy of your arrest.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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2019 edition