|Trần Văn Phong and the votive paper he gave to the two foreign visitors as change. The votive paper money is usually burnt as offerings for deceased relatives in Việt Nam. — Photo anninhthudo.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Two foreigners who were given fake money as change in Hà Nội last week were conned by a taxi driver, not a cyclo driver, as previously reported, police in Hoàn Kiếm reported.
The two visitors Miguel Fernandez Lamelas and Elena Blasco Hernandez, were also from Spain, not France as earlier reported, and arrived in Hà Nội on July 15.
The day after, the couple took a ride with Trần Văn Phong, 29, from a restautant to their hotel in Long Biên District at around 7pm for VNĐ37,000 ($1.6). They gave Phong a VNĐ500,000 ($22) note, but he gave them votive paper as change, which is usually burnt as offerings for deceased relatives in Việt Nam.
The tourists said it was the first time they had visited the country, so they were unable to distinguish between real money and votive paper money.
It was only a day later, when they tried to use the money to pay another taxi driver, that they realised they’d been cheated.
Working on the case, police also discovered that they were charged VNĐ1.5 million ($67) for a one-hour cyclo ride in Hà Nội last Monday. Normal rates range between VNĐ100,000-300,000 ($4-13) per person per hour. — VNS