Scams in Viet Nam
Foreigners visiting or living in Viet Nam can become victims of scams or petty crime.
It is not uncommon for locals to enter into marriages with foreign citizens solely for financial or immigration purposes. Relationships developed through correspondance, especially those initiated on the internet, are particularly susceptible to manipulation.
Marriage to a New Zealand citizen does not confer New Zealand citizenship, nor does it make the new spouse automatically eligible for entry into New Zealand. A foreign spouse requires a temporary entry visa to enter and visit New Zealand. Please ensure that if you intend for your partner/spouse to travel to New Zealand with you or to visit you, you are aware of the visa requirements that must be met as defined by Immigration New Zealand.
These can involve being befriended by a local and asked to join in a friendly game of cards. Once you have won a few times, the stakes increase and your winning streak disappears. These scams can have serious consequences - local gangs have been known to force victims into withdrawing large sums from ATM machines. Avoid getting involved in card games.
You should be vigilant when using credit cards. One common form of credit card fraud uses an electronic device to retrieve and record information, including the PIN, from the card's magnetic strip. The information is then used to make unauthorised purchases. To limit your exposure to this scam, never let your card out of your sight.
When using cards in ATMs choose a machine that is attended by guards or in a busy place. Look to see that the ATM has not been tampered with. Cover your hand when entering your PIN.
Taxis are the recommended form of public transportation in Viet Nam. There are plenty of reputable taxi companies in Viet Nam, however some taxi companies and/or individuals are giving the industry a bad reputation. Some drivers will take a detour or will request cash payment instead of using the meter. Always request that the meter is used and always give the taxi driver the full address of your destination.
As with many other countries, petty crime is common in Viet Nam. Whilst travelling, be very aware at all times as opportunists may snatch or slash open your belongings.
Visitors and residents should be alert to being targeted by even the friendliest of people. Never put yourself in vulnerable situations and look out for the safety of your travelling companions.