Like any city in any country there is crime and care should be taken at all times. Thus, City Pass Guide has collected some of the incredible tricks of pickpockets used in Saigon so that you can be warned and take precautions.
From regular to inventive scams
Robbery against tourists usually occurs at dusk when robbers usually go in pairs, sometimes alone. Riding on motorbikes, they gently approach their victims and suddenly snatch their handbags, necklaces, cell phones, etc. then ride away.
Tourist attractions are favorite spots for pickpockets. Therefore you shouldn’t carry precious items while visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, Nguyen Hue roundabout, 23/9 Park and shopping malls. In some cases, travelers place their cameras in a fixed position to use on automatic mode. Pickpockets then snatch the camera and make a quick getaway. But the most popular trick is snatching bags, necklaces and cell phones from foreigners who are walking on the street. It’s important not to resist when this happens unless you are good at martial arts.
A clever robbing technique that we have reported has happened in some hotels. This is when money is stolen in hotel rooms. Thieves are careful not to take the whole amount from the safe or a wallet. Instead, the thieves, who are often housekeeping staff, just take a few bank notes so clients do not notice straight away. Often tourists do not realise until the end of the trip that they’ve been robbed. By then of course they have no way of identifying which hotel or even when the theft occurred. ay. Some victims never even figure out they lost any money.
Recently, Tuoi Tre news has alarmed tourist visiting Ho Chi Minh City of a card shark gang that cheats money off gullible foreign tourists. They wander around Pham Ngu Lao Street and other backpacker’s areas and approach Asian tourists. The victims are befriended by the members of the gang and are introduced to a dealer who is claimed to work for a big casino. As usual, the gang lets their victims win a certain amount before clearing out their pockets.
Tips to avoid inventive scam and pick pocket
Be aware of people who loiter on the sidewalk pretending to buy food or drink or read a newspaper; but could be actually casing potential victims. Then there are those cruising the streets on motorbikes in search of victims.
Another type of pickpocket works in disguise. They dress smartly and take care not to focus attention on their selected target. But as soon as they notice the slightest lapse in concentration or carelessness on the part of the foreigner, they’re in like a flash grabbing wallet, camera, handbag; whatever they can get their hands on.
You should not leave your wallet in a hotel if you have any suspicion that the staff or less than honest. Always be wary of strangers who approach you.
Of course the best way to avoid nasty, unexpected experiences is simply to be aware what is going on around you. And remember that in fact Vietnamese people are very kind and friendly.
Don’t let the social issues of a developing country mar your enjoyment of what Vietnam has to offer you. All that’s needed is awareness and care.