From my experience and I have a fair few years of that about 13/14 years you will find that most locals who "Hang around" expat forums, bars, clubs and groups are generally wanting something or looking for some kind of free ticket..
And Im not speaking just about Russia it is the same for many countries.. there will always be the locals who can help you out, recommend some place or have a friends of a friend who can help you out. For example Facebook has many groups "Moscow expats " "Moscow rooms to rent" ect ect.. but in these groups you will always find plenty of little local weasels trying to make some extra money, maybe they have a spare room to rent that usually would cost 1000 roubles a night but as they know your an expat or foreigner they will add their commission and make it up to 1700 a night or some thing like that..
I have met a few in my life and several time gone to rent a room for the night or two only to see its total shit hole thats twice the normal price.. of course I have no problem staying in shit hole I have done many times, Im not a snob!
Another bunch of crooks who seem to hang around these places are lawyers , you will find their prices more expensive than the UK (But your rich!! You can afford it!! ) Lucky I never had any experience from this lot of hawks , it is very easy to use a local lawyer for a third of any of the so called expat friendly lawyers..
I have a layer just down the road very very good and speaks good English..Even used him to sue a few lazy buggers who never delivered what they promised. One guy made us wait for 12 months for some web work after we paid a large deposit.. sued his ass and he was nearly begging not to drag him through the court system..
There are always some locals wanting to help out even if its recommending a hair salon..
My advice stay well away and look at it this way do you really think any NORMAL local would want to spend his entire life hanging about expat haunts for what reason would they?