Visit a new land for the first time comes with a learning curve. Not familiar with the language, currency, or local customs makes you far more susceptible to unscrupulous individuals who are eager to take advantage. Like anywhere on this planet, scams are common in Hanoi. Some scams off will be in credibly smart and hard to detect. My Hanoi Tours offers top 10 popular scams in Hanoi either collected on Internet or sent by our customers to help avoid travel scams in Hanoi for a pleasant Hanoi tour with no regrets, disappointments, or feelings of being cheated.

Motorbike Rental Scams
Motorbike rental scams getting fairly tricky in Hanoi include renting you the motorbike that is old, not mechanically sound and then claim that you are responsible for repairing it. Another case, you rent the motorbike from your store, then steal it back from you with the spare set of keys and demand compensation.
How to avoid: you should rent motorbikes with your hotel or accommodation’s service.

Fake Beggars
Roaming around Hanoi, you may face some people who take advantage of money that sense of sympathy and use it for their own profit. Some of them being children and handicapped people are part of ring set up to earn money on the streets.

Beggars in Hanoi

The good way to tread the beggars is feed them instead of giving them money

How to avoid: Because the majority of the time any money or item will not go to these children or handicapped people, so the best way to do this is to feed them. Take them to a market stall and buy them some fruit if you feel you need to improve the situation.

Pickpockets and Snatch Theft
Carrying cash is a necessity in Hanoi because credit cards are not accepted in some small stores, but it may result in frightening fees.
Travel to bustling city like Hanoi, you should always be alert and careful with pickpockets and snatch theft. Sometimes, they work in teams to snatch cash. A street tout talks to and distracts you, while pickpocket swipes your valuables.
How to avoid: In busy places, keep an extra eye on your wallet and purse. Be wary in such situations and check your bag if you feel someone brush against you.

Taxi scam & Motorbike taxi scam
Illegal taxi drivers are quite popular in Hanoi. They use so many tricks up their sleeve. One way is taking advantage of a modified meter, which runs faster than normal ones. Therefore, unscrupulous taxi drivers can increase the fare. Another way, they can take longer path to maximize the fare. The longer the trip is, the more money they can rip off travelers.
How to avoid: In order to avoid this scam, you should get a cab of trustworthy brands, like Mai Linh (the Green Taxi), Vinasun or Taxi Group. Negotiate clearly price before getting inside. Confirm whether the price is total or per person.
In Vietnam, no requirement of certification or training to become a motorbike – taxi driver; anyone with a motorbike can become a motorbike – taxi driver, so taking motorcycle-taxi trip is quite adventurous in Hanoi, especially for foreign visitors. Many drivers are deceitful and they have so many scams to use. The most popular one is “go first, money later. It’s cheaper compared to taxi”, and after that, you have to pay a high fee, sometimes even higher than a taxi trip. Or like illegal taxi drivers, they usually go around to raise the fee.
How to avoid: To protect yourselves, trust your gut and stay away from dubious motorcycle-taxi service, especially when you are by yourself or traveling late at night.

Street Shoeshine
One of the most popular tricks in Hanoi is for shoeshine. Strolling around Hanoi’s streets, you may come across shoeshine boys removing your sandals and tell you they need repairing. Within seconds they have your sandal and apply superglue, and then you have to pay amount of money for it.
How to avoid: A firm but polite “No” will do their jobs. In certain circumstances, just pretend you do not listen and walk away.

Shoe shine scams targer foreign tourists

Shoe shine scams target foreign tourists

Street vendors
Foreign tourist, especially Western people are interested in street vendors in Hanoi with small fruit hangers and conical leave hat. However, these friendly-looking people do not always act as the way they look. Sometimes they can cause so much trouble and annoyance for tourists when they are walking. Some vendors who offer you to lend you a fruit basket and invite you to take photos with their hangers and bamboos hats. Once taken, they will demand a fee, a tip, or a purchase of their products. And you will be hounded until you pay.
How to avoid: firmly but politely say “No” with street vendors. Can buy something from them, but don’t take photos with their hangers and bamboo hats.

Currency Confusion
Although Vietnam dong is Vietnam’s official currency of Vietnam, many places also quote in USD to make overcharging easier for them – either by rounding up to USD (which is higher than the value in Vietnamese Dong) or by demanding payment in Dong while using an unacceptable exchange rate.
In addition, you properly come across some street vendors telling you 5, it could mean 5 USD, or 5,000 VND
How to avoid: If a price is quoted in dollars and you choose to pay in Vietnamese dong, always double check the exchange rate used to make the conversion.

Money Confision Dong and USD

Demanding payment in Dong while using an unacceptable exchange rate

Some unscrupulous hotels in Hanoi have many cunning tricks to trap foreign tourists. In today’s online world, hotels can easy to create fake reviews by writing good articles to gain fake reputation.
They also advertise low room fees online, but when tourists arrive, they will claim that the low fees were only for the standard rooms which have been fully booked. To book the higher end rooms, you will have to pay a lot more.
How to avoid: Firstly to verify a hotel, check its location in addition to its name. Book in advance through one of the trusted booking sites and bring the confirmation email or voucher with you. It may be worth spending the extra buck at first than to waste it reluctantly later.

Ticket Booking Scams in Vietnam
Some guys in the train or bus stations may offer you to do a ticket booking, after that they tell you that the bus or train has been delayed and offer you get a new ticket with a higher price.
How to avoid: Carefully check train or bus tickets when traveling in Hanoi. Should book tickets with your travel agencies or hotels.

Travel around some Hanoi’s attractions, you may meet some street photographers being apparently friendly, but they can trap you if you are not careful. They are often very friendly, enthusiastic, ready to help at first, and ask tourists if they want to take photos with a very cheap price and quick return service.
Once tourists agree to take some snaps, they will take doubles or even triples the number of photos that tourists required before with the price of 10,000 to 20,000 VND per photo and sometimes promise to deliver the photos to tourists in 2 or 3 hours. And of course, you will never meet them again. Tourists must pay money for something they can never have.
How to avoid: highly recommend to bring your own camera and have some other friendly-looking people nearby take photos for you.