hi guys, so today we’re gonna talk about sort of an unpleasant topic, when it comes to traveling in Vietnam. Now this is a post about Scams in Vietnam a but it’s not Just a video about Scams. You can think of It As a Survival Guide Because I’m going to be going through all of These Scams That you would most
Probably encounter from the moment you step off the plane landing in Vietnam All the Way Through Sort of Daily life and even if You live Here. You Know the Criminal or the scammer because They’re Vietnamese they know the society Here they Know how things Work and they will always Be Able to Turn Things in their favour.
I decided to make this post because a reader and a supporter of mine mentioned that he almost got into er he did get into some of a scam situation while he was traveling in Vietnam, so this made
me realize how important it is to spread awareness to those very common scams that you may find that way you know how to spot them and know how to avoid and how to walk away so today we’re gonna talk about the top 12 most common in Vietnam, and how to avoid them. Just a quick note a lot of these scams are not only targeted towards foreigners they actually will target locals as well who are travelling within the country.
Just be aware that just because a local seems to following someone doesn’t mean that they know what they’re doing either. let us start first with 3 important numbers to know when you’re travelling in Vietnam, i know there’s a communication error if you try to call the local authorities however, it’s still important to have these numbers handy just 113 – Police. 114 – Fire. 115 – Ambulance/First Aid Somebody can Make a Little Bit of Money They will make a Little Bit of Money off you.
1. New friend
This is especially prevalent if you are a solo male traveling to Vietnam. You may find, you’re walking along a touristy area and a probably young, vietnamese woman walks up to you, and asks
hi, where are you from? or hi how long have you been in Vietnam? or just striking up a conversation with you. So this may eventually lead to her seemingly wanting to befriend you and maybe ask, oh I would love to practice English with someone or I would love to take you to some of the local spots I know for a tea, or for some food you’re gonna end up paying a pretty hefty bill if you choose to go and have lunch or dinner with this new friend you’ve made.
There’s also another type of this scam is inviting you to a tea tasting or a tea ceremony you may end up getting scammed into paying hundreds of dollars for this ridiculous tea ceremony scam. so if someone approaches you and tries to befriend you, if it feels suspicious, and if they wanna take you to somewhere of their choosing, just politely say no thank you.
My previous post, I did mention that you should approach young students asking for directions cuz they probably will speak some English, more than others however, this is a completely different situation. This is someone approaching you, wanting something from you.
scam number 2: Taxi middleman
So you arrive in an airport in Vietnam, or train station. Be aware of solicitors asking or shouting in *English – Taxi, taxi they want to take you to your hotel, however they’re prices are gonna be much much higher and it’s just not legitimate. There’s always gonna be a Taxi queue line right outside of the arrival terminal. Just like you’d find in any other airports. so don’t follow them.
scam number 3 skip the line
would you like to skip this long line… so this may happen when you’re waiting in queue or in line at say a popular tourist destinations and you see these two suspicious looking people come up to you and ask do you wanna skip the long line, i know the best way inside. or they’re not allowing anyone else to go in, come with me. I’ve seen locals fall for this kind of scams as well
so like i said before, just because you see locals following these people, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.
Another way that they can trick you into going with them is by telling you so and so train and bus is no longer operating today, if you want to get to this destination please follow us, we have cars, we can take you for a good price. this is usually not true, the trains and buses are not cancelled and you just have to wait in line, unfortunately, just like everyone els to get into the destination. If you’re really concerned and curious, see if you can find a police officer or person in an official uniform and ask them hey is this place closed? –
scam number 4 the pickpocket
This is gonna be very very common around vietnamese New Year time as I mentioned, it’s very crowded, a lot of people are doing shopping outside. so there’s gonna be more pushing and nudging, sometimes they work solo, and sometimes they may work in a group. so when you’re out and about don’t feel the need to be polite, and let people bump into you, always have your belongings close by where you can see it, and if someone tries to get too close to you or pushes you or touches you in any way, don’t be shy to push them or move them or just get out of that situation.
scam number 5 fake beggers
This one is really sad. because when i was little, i actually have witnessed a lot of crazy injuries on these people begging on the street. You may see people with no legs. people with no arms, weird crazy head injuries or children that look malnourished. what i used to do when i was a kid was bring all the coins i had from my piggy bank and just kind of pass them out to the people on the street.
So now as an adult, unfortunately I realized that you just cannot distinguish between the ‘real’ people who are begging for money because they really have to, vs the people that are just doing a really good job scamming others.
So just politely decline and walk away.
scam number 6 fake clothing
now i don’t recommend you trying to buy fake stuff in Vietnam unless you really want to, however, if you walk into any random shops or boutiques and you see Nike or Chanel Louis Vuitton, whatever brands you may be thinking of, if its not if its not in an official store, or if its not in an official department store it’s probably fake.
There actually are tiers tiers of faked goods in Vietnam you can actually find things that are so good so closely replicated to the real thing, that it almost cost nearly the same. this is really crazy to me and a lot of people I think don’t care, they just buy it because its “cheaper”. please don’t try to buy a ton of fake stuff in Vietnam and bring it back with you in your home country. in case you get caught in customs.
You’re gonna not have a good time explaining why there’s a ton of counterfeit items in your bag.
7 The high price
Its weird for me to even put this as one of the scams because its almost like something you have to do in Vietnam, it is the norm. it’s a sport weird if you don’t bargain. so don’t feel shy and don’t feel like you’re being impolite when you try to bargain I’ve already talked about this twice in my previous two posts, but i wanted to go into more depth this time. when you walk into a shop, again this is an unmarked, a boutique, an individual shop. not a giant department store or an official flagship store for that particular brand.
If you see there’s no marked prices, or even if there’s those unmarked prices, so marked by the merchant, or even price tags that looks official, you still should bargain. now it’s a little bit hard when you don’t know what is the fair price. so what i would recommend is to just stand back a bit watch the locals bargain and haggle. and see how much, if you can, see how much they bargain the price down to.
scam number 8 cheap and or poor quality tours
If you don’t speak vietnamese, I recommend looking for an English speaking tour, those should be plenty. especially in big cities. My trick is i always befriend the hotel front desk people in any place I’m staying in and I ask them for advice and tips because if they’re a well established hotel or if they are a legitimate hotel they’re not gonna try to send you on some bad tour, because that could actually effect their reputation for the future. so make friends with the front desk people at where you’re staying, they also have trip.com or the Ctrip app on their phone that they can check all the different tours that are offered and they can actually read reviews by locals and foreigners and they can help you figure out the best tour for you. some hotels may even offer tour packages, and I would trust those a little bit more because they’re reputation is on the table. Don’t ever ever ever take a tour offer from anybody on the street.
scam number 9 fake notes
first of all, always get your money from official bank ATMs and official exchange offices get familiar with what the bills look and feel like, you can hold it up, feel the ridges and see what a real bill feels like. now here are some of the ways people can scam you with cash merchants may accuse you of giving them a fake bill when in fact they are the ones that swapped out a real bill with a fake one. in this case just threaten to call the police. if they still insist actually just dial the number i know there’s gonna be a communication issue with the local police because they may not speak English however, hopefully they’ve tried to do this with someone else before.
Police are a bit aware of the situation also i hope you just never get into this kind of scenario another one could be trying to give you the incorrect amount of change back. so just be aware of that as well. lastly, if a taxi or merchant tries to tell you they don’t have enough change to give you back try to have smaller bills on you if that’s possible and taxis i kind of understand, but merchants, er shop owners or restaurants, they can ask their Neighbors.
I know they’re friends with their neighbors. so if they tell you they don’t have change, just tell them to go next door and ask somebody, make sure you get your change back.
10 Fake monks
This one also makes me really sad because they’re preying on people’s good heart and their religious or spiritual beliefs and make a profit so apparently these fake monks will walk around and try to hand you make you take maybe a prayer bead or bracelet, necklace and then ask you for donation. they may also show a book or a ledger with names written in different languages, different countries to show you their credibility. no matter what you do just don’t accept this ‘free’ gift because then they will probably try to follow you or ask you for money. if it’s a real monk, im pretty sure they’re not gonna chase after you if you refuse to donate something in the first try. If you do want to make a small donation or contribution to the temples, hey actually, when you visit a temple they actually will have official boxes or donation booths set up and i would really recommend checking some of the temples in Vietnam they’re incredible, they are so many different kinds of buddhist statues the vibe. they’re usually set in like nice areas parks, or maybe in a forest somewhere, definitely recommend checking out the temples there.
11 The fruit seller
Less a scam and more a minor inconvenience. In Vietnam’s major cities, you’ll find fruit sellers walking around with long bamboo poles on their back; on each end there’ll be a tray loaded with local fruits, such as pineapples, rambutan, custard apples and mangosteen. If you buy fruit from a fruit seller, just be careful you’re not being overcharged. The real problem comes when they try to sell you a photo opportunity. It might be a snap with them, or one of you carrying their bamboo pole, but they’ll usually try and charge you once you’ve taken the picture.
How to avoid it: If you don’t want to pay for a picture, politely but firmly say ‘no’.
It’s important to remember that these tricks are few and far between and, while it’s something to be mindful of, they shouldn’t keep you from enjoying all the temples, street food and tea houses this beautiful country has to offer.
12 The Flower Girl
The little girls, however, are being watched by their “handlers”. Typically, a gang of unscrupulous people are around them, watching the girls how and who they chase. The members of these gangs are most likely family, whether they’re siblings or nieces.
Sometimes you might have the gang people giving you the eye if you are trying to talk to the girls and tell her to get lost. Sometimes they even threaten you. They might even have five or six girls to supervise!
How to avoid: Do not pay and tell the girls to leave. Don’t be shy to “peel” them away from your leg. They are just little children and by giving them money you are encourage them and their gangs to keep doing what they’re doing. Get your phone out and pretend to call the Police. They will disappear right away.
You’ll have a Fantastic
Time in Vietnam all love Just Like i have you know you’ll be Able to travel Around and have an Amazing Time
Without That Bad taste in your mouth of having Been Scammed so That’s it for This one Guys i hope you found it informative
Stay Away from The Scammers