How to detect fake cops in Vietnam? Tips to help you avoid being robbed

By Kim Thuy   June 15, 2016 | 12:12 am PT
Foreign tourists are a prime target for criminals in Vietnam, and various scams to part them from their property are becoming more and more sophisticated. Some of the more brazen thieves have been dressing up as police and robbing people in public with little or no resistance from foreign tourists, so here's how to avoid being the next victim.

It is high time that foreign tourists are made aware of what is becoming a common trick used by small-time criminals. When you are stopped by someone claiming to be a cop who asks you to hand over your documents or possessions, here's what to do.

1. Keep calm and gradually slow down: If you are driving a bike or a car, stop at a safe area to park with people around and wait for the police to come to you. Do not forget to take the key from your vehicle and put it in your pocket.

Do not follow police to empty lots with no-one around because it would be an ideal place for a robbery.

2. Observe the police:

Watch how they behave! Do they seem to be in a rush and appear threatening? Real police do not usually behave like that. They are supposed to say hello to you, introduce themselves and treat you politely, unless you have committed a serious crime!


A police officer says hello to a civilian. Photo by NLD

3. Do not hand over anything: Do not hand over your possessions or documents until you are 100 percent sure they are real police.

4. Check for ID: Ask to see an official police badge and see if they are wearing a name tag. If they do not have either of these, they are either fake or do not have the right to stop you.

5. Ask locals to help: Fake police would immediately run away if other residents intervene.

6. Shout for help or call the police: If you think someone is impersonating a police officer or you see signs of threatening behavior, call in the real guys.

Numbers to remember:

Emergency: 113

Hanoi: 043 9396886

Ho Chi Minh City: 083.9200377

Da Nang:05113 821306

Hai Phong: 0313 895827

Or you can search for the number of local district police and add it to your contact list for safety.

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> Fake cops arrested after targeting tourists in Saigon robbing spree

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