Today I was walking around Kiem Lake when I was approached by a young Vietnamese man who claimed to be 22 and wanted to improve his English to travel to Australia, he asked if he could buy me a coffee and I agreed, we spoke Vietnamese for a bit and I helped him with his English and pronunciation.
During our encounter I asked to add him on Facebook, to which he said his account was locked (alarm bells). Following this we walked to the Hanoi Opera House where I met his brother who told me he would share some culture with me, we jumped on a motorbike and ate some street food which he claimed to be 'tiger meat' with medicinal benefits, and he proceeded to try to tell me things about Vietnamese culture which were certainly false.
When we finished our meal he explained to me that in Vietnamese culture men split bills, well that didn't happen at the first two cafes as I was paid for. He told me to split the 7 million dollar bill in halves with him for this 'special tiger meat' which was only beef brisket worth about 65,000vnd. I told him how crazy the price was and gave him 100k which was all I had on me, he told me we would ride to get more money. First he tried to take me to an ATM, to which I told him I don't bring cards overseas I exchange my local currency as I go and that he would have to take me to my hotel to get money and then take me to exchange it. He told me how he left 4 million dong and his iPhone 8 with the lady who cooked the street food to ensure we came back and paid (obviously she was in on the scam too)
I got him off guard, I went inside the lobby of my hotel which I had actually finished staying at as my flight was in about 4 hours, and had a chat with the staff about my experience, before I could blink he had obviously flee'd after knowing i knew he was full of crap and was going outside to rough him up.
Please be aware of this scam it really nearly got me and I have never heard of such tactics in Hanoi.