As the Central Highlands city of Da Lat is entering its festive season and preparations are being made for 2013 Tourism Culture Week, the 5th Da Lat Flower Festival, and the commemoration of the city’s 120th anniversary, city authorities are doing their best to prevent scams and rip offs.

To avoid scams and rip offs, which were rampant during previous Da Lat Flower Festivals, the city’s People’s Committee has worked since September 2013 with all local service providers, demanding that they post their room rates and service fees and agree not to hike fees.

The committee also announced its hotlines, which locals and tourists can call to report scams. The hot line numbers are: 0913881271, 0913853053, 0913953207, 0918007267, 0633701788, and 0633701726. They will be in service 24/7 and are publicly posted at all local service providers such as tourist spots, restaurants, hotels, cafés, and shops.

However, tourists, particularly foreigners, should never let their guard down and should always choose reliable service providers with clearly posted rates, the festival organizers warn.

Tourists are also advised to ask peddlers or service providers about their rates carefully and request that they write down prices before purchasing anything. This can help prevent overcharging after tourists have had meals or used services, as service providers can claim that tourists agreed to a higher price if there is no proof to the contrary. Tourists should also bargain for the lowest price possible, as they’re still being overcharged even if their bargained price is half or even one third of the proposed price.