Residents in the southern province of Binh Duong apprehended two alleged Chinese swindlers and handed them to the police on May 3.
Huang Xiangnan, 44, and Huang Rude, 43, had confused Do Thi Huong, 25, an electronics shop owner when she was giving them the change.
They managed to steal more than VND3 million (US$158) right from her hands, said residents who had been working with provincial police to detect criminal activity.
The men bought a microphone that cost VND180,000 with a VND500,000 note.
When Huong took out money to give them the change, they began speaking in Chinese to confuse her.
They then grasped the money from her hands, pretending to take the change in the denominations they proffered.
Huang Rude then gave back the money to Huong and they left on their motorbike. Shortly thereafter, they were stopped by local residents who had been working with police.
Only then did Huong check her money to discover the loss.
The two suspects have confessed to the crime.