Scams in Ho Chi Minh City & how to avoid

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, has always been an attractive tourist destination and attracts many foreign visitors. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, international visitors to Ho Chi Minh City in the first 6 months of 2023 are estimated to reach 1,941,267 visits, an increase of 306% over the same period in 2022, reaching 38.8% of the plan target for 2023. Foreign tourists choose Ho Chi Minh City as the ideal place to stop because of its temperate tropical climate, friendly people, openness, and fascinating cuisine with famous street food. However, sometimes during the trip, there will be some problems that you do not want, like being scammed by professional tricksters. Here are some scams in Ho Chi Minh City and how to avoid them that you should know to avoid the annoyance and frustration of enjoying your vacation.

1. Fake travel agencies

Scammed by fake travel companies include:

  • Fake travel agents forged reputable travel companies: scammers often fake the website or Facebook page of a reputable travel company, take fake photos of receipts and bills of payment, and ask people who need to pay your expenses. After the customer transfers the account to pay for the travel service, the agency will contact them and delete all links.
  • Cheap tours and hotel rooms: the scammers will offer on social networks advertisements for cheap tour services and hotels and then ask you to deposit 50% of the tour and hotel value, then cheat on the deposit amount and disappear.
  • Masking tourists to scam: this is a sophisticated trick of the scammers that many foreign visitors have become victims of. These scammers will investigate and question your schedules so they can grasp the traveler’s personal information and schedule. The scammers will use Deepfake software to match fake faces to travelers, contact your friends and relatives abroad to inform them that you are in financial difficulties and that you had an accident in Ho Chi Minh City, and then forge your family into transferring money to the fraudsters.
  • Scam to make Vietnam passports quickly: this easily affects tourists who want to travel in Ho Chi Minh City for long days and want to get a quick visa. The scammers will commit to obtaining a quick visa and will repay 100% of the cost if they do not apply for a visa. However, if you transfer 100% of the money, the scammers will have a number of reasons not to make the visa for you as you disclose invalid information to cheat a large amount of money.

How to avoid?

  • To avoid being scammed in Ho Chi Minh City, before traveling, you should learn about reputable travel companies in Vietnam or book hotels, tours, and airplane tickets on reputed travel apps and websites.
  • Tourists can ask the travel agencies to show them the tourism practice certificates and business licenses issued by the Vietnamese government.
  • It is not advisable to transfer a deposit for tours and hotel rooms but to pay directly upon arrival.
  • Beware of fake websites with fake website names and domains. Fake websites often have domains such as xy, yz, and xz.

2. Fake taxis

Signs of a fake taxis:

  • No logo: taxis have no company signs, no pricing clocks, or even the logo of a reputable taxi company.
  • Cheap fees offer: fake taxi drivers will offer travelers words like promises to drive cheaper than other companies, but when you arrive at the destination, you will have to pay a fairly large amount of money; otherwise, you will get in trouble because the scammers will have complicit waiting, and if you do not pay, you will be threatened.

Fake website and hotline: by creating a fake website and hotline phone number, the fraudster will name the reputable taxi company, but the false website and phone number are also virtual. If you unfortunately get into the car, you won’t know where they’ll take you, and this isn’t safe when traveling.

Scams in Ho Chi Minh City & how to avoid - AN Tours Vietnam

How to avoid?

  • Always book a taxi via reputable apps and ask for taxi information after landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport at the airport booking taxi desk.
  • Contact reputable travel agencies to ask for information about reputable taxi companies in Ho Chi Minh City to avoid unfortunate circumstances.
  • If you encounter a fake taxi, be calm and contact the nearest police station to report it. You will be helped.

3. Restaurants do not display prices

Signs of scam restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city:

  • Do not leave the price on the menu: this is exactly what makes every customer excited when putting their feet up to eat at the restaurant. Restaurants that don’t put prices on the menu will intentionally double the price, and you’ll be forced to pay a large amount for a meal.
  • Force travelers to order many dishes: the trick of these restaurants is to ask customers to order a lot of food, then serve it with an unpleasant attitude that will be annoying if you reject their offer.
  • Be careful with free food given: as this is a way for unreliable restaurants to collect your money even if you don’t order them.
Scams in Ho Chi Minh City & how to avoid - AN Tours Vietnam

How to avoid?

  • Always ask the price and refer to the menu before deciding whether or not to eat at the restaurant.
  • To make sure you are not scammed, go to the big restaurants with names to eat by searching for information on Google.
  • Order food through food delivery apps to get many attractive offers as well as know the prices of the dishes in advance.

4. Pickpocket & snatch theft

Theft of luggage and property of tourists:

  • Handbags at airports and in public places: these handbags and theft will mix into the crowd and take advantage of your opacity that puts your hands in the pants bags, suitcases to pick up the phone, and traveler’s wallets and then disappear that we don’t know.
  • Pretending to welcome the product, then pressing and hooking the bags: the trick of the thieves becomes increasingly sophisticated as they pretend to welcome tourists to buy the products and press you to hook the bags.

How to avoid?

  • Do not carry many valuables; important documents such as passports, visas, and wallets should not be left in the bag but in the front of the chest bag to ensure safety.
  • Always keep an eye on your personal possessions and don’t bring too many valuable items in public, such as gold rings, jewelry, and diamonds, to avoid being spotted by the pickpocket. 
  • Avoid over-talking because when you speak, the pocket hooking will be easy to do because the bag hookers will take advantage of you when you lose control and steal property

5. Collared by the dollars

Dollars scam in Ho Chi Minh city:

  • Exploit currency exchange to confiscate assets: fraudsters will take advantage of foreign travelers wanting to exchange Dollars for VNDs, but the scammers will exchange for a lower price.

Fake currency exchanges: be careful of being dealt with; if you don’t focus for a moment, the amount of Dollars you put in will be dealt into fake currencies, and you will be forced to put in more money to trade the currency.

Scams in Ho Chi Minh City & how to avoid - AN Tours Vietnam

How to avoid?

  • Always exchange foreign currencies before traveling. If there is a need to exchange currency, contact the exchange offices at the airport or in the shopping centers to avoid being scammed and receiving the wrong amount that you want to change.
  • Without exchanging money with strangers, bad guys will take advantage of the fact that you want them to exchange money for you.
  • Do not trade online to avoid losing money.

​​A scam in Ho Chi Minh City can happen; however, read the above article to see how to avoid it and be careful before traveling. If you are worried about travel, contact AN Tours for advice and get all the information in detail about tour services, how to exchange foreign currencies, the cultures in Ho Chi Minh City, and the prestigious taxi services to have a fun and perfect trip.

For more details about the tour and if you intend to travel in Ho Chi Minh city  and have many questions about the tour, scam in Ho Chi Minh city  problems, please contact An Tours VietNam for advice and more interesting tourist information!