An elderly motorcycle taxi driver who had his phone stolen by customers received the support of strangers who bought him a new one.
The moto taxi driver Nguyen Ngoc Lang, 51, said that around 10 a.m. on April 4, a man aged around 30 asked for a ride from Da Nang Hospital to Dien Ban General Hospital (Quang Nam) and back. The man promised he would give Lang VND200,000 after the trip.
At Dien Ban General Hospital, the man told Lang to wait, as he needed to go into the hospital to complete documents for his mother. He said he had no phone and thus asked to borrow Lang’s in order to take photographs of the necessary documents.
“I thought he was in an emergency, so I gave him my phone without even thinking twice,” Lang said.
It took Lang around 30 of minutes waiting to realize things were unusual. He borrowed a mobile phone from beverage vendor and called his own phone number. The man picked up, and asked Lang to wait a few more minutes as he was still in the middle of the procedure.
However, bystanders who witnessed the scene raised concerns and urged Lang to call back. This time, the man didn’t pick up.
Lang then realized he had been swindled out of his phone, which he had just bought the previous month and was paying for in instalments.
“I waited hopelessly. But I was still paying in instalments, so I’m really upset,” Lang said.
He filed a police report, but has yet to confirm any information about the scammer. Police collected footage from security cameras installed in nearby houses, but the scammer covered his face and his body with a hat and a facial mask. Everyone found it hard to identify him.
Motorcycle taxi driver Nguyen Ngoc Lang was frustrated after being swindled out of his phone in Quang Nam on April 4, 2023. Photo by Nguyen Toly
Some fellow customers at the beverage vendor took photos of Lang and posted them on social media. They asked the scammer to return Lang his phone, as his family was poor, and his phone was the sole equipment he had to work his job. A few online communities also shared photos of Lang and asked the scammer to step out. However, there have been no responses since then.
After reading the post, Da Nang resident Hoai Nguyen tried every way she could to contact the driver. “I couldn’t hold my tears in when I saw the photo of him, so I decided to buy him a new mobile phone,” Hoai said.
The same afternoon, she invited the driver to her house, so that she could take him to the store to buy a new mobile phone. Her relatives and friends also sent money. Hoai then bought a phone worth VND 4.3 million.
Holding the new phone in his hands, the 51-year-old driver can’t stop thanking the community for helping him.
Lang was brought to a store to get a new mobile phone by well-wishers on April 4, 2023. Photo courtesy of Hoai Nguyen
Lang shared that he had been offering traditional motorcycle taxi services for 10 years. Recently, he switched to using mobile apps. He is the breadwinner of his family and must support two school age children.
“A mobile phone could mean nothing to some, but to my family, it is a fortune. I considered a lot before deciding to buy the mobile phone in instalments, though it was for work purposes,” he said.
Hoai told VnExpress that if it had not been for her, there would have been another one who would had helped Lang. “I honestly wanted him to have a new phone convenient for his job,” she shared.
The story of the driver getting support from strangers has attracted tens of thousands of likes on social media. A lot of people have expressed gratitude to those who helped Lang. And many others have criticized the phone’s thief.
“Vietnamese people still maintain our traditional values, and are always willing to help people in need. In situations like this, humanity is proved,” social media user Minh Toan claimed.
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