Many Tuoi Tre readers have told the newspaper that they have recently fallen victim to new tricks on the city’s streets.
One of the victims was a 23-year-old woman who called herself Mai, from District 3. Mai said that while she was driving a motorbike on a road in District 9, a man on a bike came close to her and said, “Look! Your bike has caught fire.” Mai looked at the rear of the bike and saw that everything was fine, so she continued driving, but soon after another man on a motorbike approached from behind and told her the same warning. This time Mai was scared so she stopped the vehicle. The man also got off his bike and said he would help her. He then replaced the spark plug of the victim with another that he had brought along and then asked her to pay him VND300,000 (US$14.4) as the cost of the device and “service charge.” The same thing, though more damaging, happened to Mai Thi Phuong, 27, of Binh Tan District, while she was driving on Le Dai Hanh Street in District 11 on November 5. Phuong lost VND1 million ($48) to a man who “voluntarily” repaired her bike after falsely telling her that the vehicle had caught fire. Another type of cheat is using the image of a “crying teen girl” to touch others. One of the victims of this scam was H, a young woman from Cu Chi District. H said that on the morning of November 5, she found a girl, about 6 or 7 years old, crying in front of a supermarket in the district. H asked the girl why she was weeping and she said, “I have strayed away from my mother.” When H asked the girl if she remembered her home address, she said ‘Yes’, so H took her home on her motorbike. After stopping in front of a house that the crying girl said was her home, H was struck in the head by something and passed out. When she regained consciousness, she found that her motorbike, jewelry and money were all gone. In talking with Tuoi Tre Newspaper about such tricks, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Trinh Van Sam, head of the District 11 Police, said victims should immediately report their cases to police so that investigations can begin immediately. The police will tighten control on a number of streets and keep local residents well informed about common tricks.