That One Time Sean and I Got Scammed In Hanoi And What We Should Have Done Instead
So here is the thing, sometimes you will meet people who mean to cause you harm and you might get scammed. So don’t be daft. Research before you go somewhere. See what scams have impacted travelers in the past. Be aware but don’t be scared. Let me repeat that. Be aware but don’t be scared. By being aware you are helping yourself so you can fully enjoy yourself in whatever country you are in. If more than 3 bloggers have mentioned a particular one or experience they had, make sure to take note.
Personally, I always make sure to read different blog posts but also the State Department or UK warnings about a country. This is to understand a variety of aspects of what is happening in a country you are visiting in. Maybe it’s the diplomat’s daughter in me but I like to be aware and you should be too. By knowing what are common scams, you can see when it’s happening and either get out of the situation or know what to do.
That being said, occasionally it will happen and you will have to pay up. Case in point. When Sean and I were in Hanoi we got taxi scammed. We knew it was happening as it was happening but it was pouring down rain and middle of nowhere. Fast-forward to the end of our taxi and a frustrated Sean and Amanda paying triple the price.
I was annoyed at myself because I KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING. Sean was annoyed because he PAID THE PRICE. We talked about it during lunch and we realized in the grand scheme of things, it could have been worse. Yes, we paid triple the price but that was in reality just $7. Neither of us got hurt and that guy must have been so desperate for a few extra dollars. So we promised to be a little more aware in the future, which we were.
Here is what we should have done:
- We should have had a better look at the taxi itself outside. If it looks a little too casual with only one number be weary. If you don’t recognize the name because you haven’t seen it before then DING DING DING, don’t get in.
- As soon as it was happening instead of second-guessing ourselves, we should have gotten out at the first light. If we hadn’t the second guessed ourselves we would have been in a more crowded area better able to get in a correct taxi.
- I asked about a meter but that doesn’t matter much if it’s rigged to move very fast.
- Get out of the car and then pay him. Pay him the fair price. If he argues say, “let’s talk to the police.” He will most likely drive off.
The ultimate thing though is if you are being scammed suss out the situation. Are you safe to call them out on it? Is the possible danger worth it over just a few dollars? When in doubt, just say you are calling your Embassy or the tourist police to confirm. I guarantee you, you will never actually have to call them. There is nothing wrong with being cautious but don’t let it prevent you from having the best adventure!
See the more fun side of my travels here!