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How to Avoid The Hanoi Taxi Scam in 2024

Grab in Vietnam

There is a very famous Hanoi Taxi scam which involve normal looking cabs, but with fake meters aimed at really robbing people. Said scam has not only not been well documented, but has caused quite a lot of problems within the country.

And sadly this is a real thing as while Vietnamese people might be really nice, the taxi drivers in the country have a really bad name. And it is for this that I recently wrote why you should only take Grab here.

The Hanoi Taxi Scam

Basically uno hail a taxi on the street that as you would expect looks like a taxi. The problem is that when you get in instead of the meter going up slowly and incrementally it rises really really fast hitting $20-30 real quick and even going up into the hundreds.

Many people just pay it, while others, including myself say “no way”. This actually happened when I was in Hanoi during the Trump-Kim summit. I personally paid the correct amount that should be owed, but still ended up in fisticuffs.

On other occasions I have simply stopped that can altogether. Now I avoid hailing cabs altogether, which I will get into later.

How does the scam work?

The mechanics of the scene quite simply work because there is a dodgy meter, but how the scam is gotten away with is a different matter. Basically most people are simply scared to say anything and just end up paying the fee, particularly on short journeys.

And what if people dispute the fair? The problem here is that while few people would have the balls to dispute the fair when they do the driver will also double down himself quite often threatening fall the police, or not release luggage from the back of the car.

Again in this instance most people would rather just pay and avoid problems than fight. I alas fall into the later on this and should you fight back yourself remember that it is not as if the driver can call the police. The trick though is to avoid the Hanoi Taxi scam.

How to avoid the Hanoi taxi scam?

The chief way to avoid the Hanoi taxi scam is sadly to sue Grab and NEVER EVER hail a cab from the street, This is really easy to do, with there also being other app options such as GoJek. Of course on longer journeys you can negotiate a cash price with driver, just be very clear about the final price.

Another really important thing to always remember is that even when the nice drivers at the airport, or train station start harassing you and saying “same as grab”, “I grab” and the like whilst rudely looking over your shoulder at your phone simply reply with “no”.

My big question and one everyone should ask in this instance is that while things can get tough, why are the taxi drivers so very persuasive and indeed aggressive for your ride.

Always follow these rules and you will safely avoid the Hanoi Taxi Scam….