In Vietnam, you should know some common scams, even if it is unlikely to get involved. After all, an unexpected event is enough to make an otherwise happy holiday a huge setback, so it’s a good idea to know the relevant information before you start
some of these scams are very obvious and can be avoided by normal skepticism, while others are relatively hidden. Like anywhere in the world, it’s a good idea to know your surroundings, especially where you’ve never been before. The best way to avoid being cheated is to completely avoid their possible situations, so in order to help you, here are some of the most common scams in Vietnam, and some tips are provided. You should know these tips so that you can enjoy your trip to Vietnam.
1. Street hawker photo scam
Street vendors often target foreign tourists (especially foreign tourists) who have never experienced the local culture. Many of them invite tourists to take photos with their props and then force them to tip. If tourists refuse to pay, these street vendors will follow them until they buy something or give them some money. Another common scam is pretending to be an orphan or disabled child, begging for money outside famous scenic spots or restaurants
how to avoid: politely and firmly refuse their asking price, but if street vendors persist, please stay away from them.
2. Restaurants without marked price
Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its delicacy and reasonable price, but some restaurants let tourists pay a high price for their meals. These places usually have staff who can’t speak a foreign language (English) (or pretend they can’t). So if you ask about the price, they will often be vague or reassure you that their food is cheap. As a result, after your meal, your bill is usually much more expensive than the normal price. At this time, you have no choice but to pay
avoidance: always ask to check the menu and insist on knowing the price before ordering. In addition, you can do research in advance and only visit restaurants that are well received.
3. Free admission to scenic spots
Vietnam’s attractions include primitive Buddhist shrines and colonial buildings, as well as geological wonders such as the dunes of MANET and Xialong Bay. In many cases, strangers near the attraction will tell visitors to pay for certain attractions. But they are actually free
how to avoid: if you are going to visit the scenic spots in Vietnam, please do research. Most Buddhist temples in Vietnam are free to enter without paying a ticket. But as in China, they are free to donate incense money in temples.
4. Hotel Booking scam
The scam is usually run by small, independent hotels that advertise low rates, but claim that the rooms you have booked are full, so you need to pay more for the only available rooms left (usually high-end rooms). Some even refuse to return your passport unless you pay an extra fee, so you have no choice but to submit to their demands
how to avoid: book a hotel through a trusted Hotel booking website, and save confirmation email for retention and reference.
5. Fake silk or pearl
When you visit the local market, you may encounter stalls selling fake famous brand goods (such as handbags, wallets and watches). However, some manufacturers claim to offer authentic silk, war relics and pearls at attractive prices. You may be lucky enough to get the real thing, but usually you may be buying cheap imitations
avoidance method: please check your goods before purchase, especially after the package is completed, the supplier can easily exchange it with fake goods.
6. Taxi without clock
Taxis are one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to travel in Vietnam, because you can take an air-conditioned car to any place without having to compete for seats for crowded buses. However, passengers are often the victims of unethical taxi drivers, such as driving without clocking, detours, higher than normal costs and other common scams
avoidance: take a taxi only if the taxi driver agrees to turn on the meter, or look for a taxi from a well-known company such as vinasun and Mai Linh. If you leave the hotel, please ask the receptionist to book a car for you.
7. Motorcycle rental scam
In Vietnam, motorcycle leasing can be tricky, especially in areas where you have to travel by motorcycle. Common scams include faking famous brand motorcycles, defective (hidden) motorcycle parts, and the car owner will ask you to pay extra repair fees for the reason that the renter damages the vehicle (vehicle defect) when returning the vehicle. It even includes the owner stealing your rental car to claim compensation
avoidance method: thoroughly inspect the vehicle before renting the motorcycle. If possible, take photos of existing scratches or defects and confirm with the owner. Renting a car in a hotel can avoid the above deception.
8. Train ticket fraud
Night train is very popular among backpackers and long-distance travelers. It is a cheap and effective way to travel through Vietnam. However, there are many fake train travel websites that offer attractive prices, and once you buy a ticket on such a website, you will need to pay extra fees when you arrive at the station. Another common scam is that people who approach you at the entrance of a railway station usually tell you that they can buy tickets for you at a discount price, which is actually impossible
avoidance: purchase train tickets through your hotel, famous travel agency or official website. Or go to the railway station to buy tickets. Don’t believe what strangers near the railway station say about discount tickets.
9. Pretty girl scam
This kind of deception mainly occurs in the pedestrian streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The scam is mainly aimed at men travelling alone. Especially when a man is in Hanoi or the famous pedestrian street of Ho Chi Minh at night. There will be strangers greeting you, and then they will sell you beautiful young girls in smothered English or Chinese. Usually they will tell you that he will take you to the beautiful girl’s place. If you choose to believe in him, you are often waiting for a huge loss of money.
When a person walks in the street at night, anyone who actively sells items to you or provides relevant “interesting” information should be alert.