Taxi driver rips off American tourists in Hanoi

Transport inspectors in Hanoi have fined a taxi driver for overcharging an American family, his second such scam in months.

Chu Van Diep from the Tien Thanh taxi company was fined VND1.4 million (US$61) and had his car confiscated for a week. He was also ordered to return the money, and his company has been instructed to take further disciplinary measures.

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Chu Van Diep (2nd, L) returns money he overcharged an American family to tourism officials in Hanoi. Photo by Kinh Te Do Thi Newspaper

On March 1, Diep charged an American couple and their child VND450,000 (US$20) for a three-kilometer journey, 10 times more than the amount on the meter.

The couple questioned the high fee at the time, but were told “that’s the rule.”

They reported his plate number to a tourist support center and Diep was tracked down hours later.

He returned the money via tourism officials on March 6.

This was not his first violation. Last October, he was caught after charging a Thai tourist 10 times the meter fee.

Taxi scams used to be common in Vietnam, but rising competition in the transport sector has helped stem the problem. However, foreigners are still regular targets, giving the country’s tourism sector a bad name.


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