Police officers are supposed to be people you can trust and for the most part, they are. However criminals like to play on the trust and good will of people so it's important to keep up your guard. Criminals sometimes impersonate police officers to take advantage of situations. It's up to you to be able to identify a fake police officer to prevent yourself from becoming the victim of a devious criminal.
Put on your hazard lights and slow down. Pull over on the side of the road when in a well lit area where other people are around. Drive until you reach such a location. A real police officer will understand this safety precaution.
Examine the police vehicle in your rear view and side mirrors. The car should be marked and any flashing lights should be mounted onto the vehicle. If it is an unmarked car with a hand mounted flashing light call 911 and ask the operator to run a search on the number plate. The operator will be able to tell you if it's actually an unmarked police car or an imposter.
Ask to see identification. Real police officers may have badges with their name, department, and badge number. Fake badges are often very generic and often won't have the personal details listed.
Examine the officer's behaviour. If the officer seems overly aggressive, demanding, or persistent about your personal information, or getting out of the vehicle or allowing access he may be an imposter.
Call 911 if in question. Ask the operator to run the number plate or badge number to identify the police officer. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Ask to see identification. Examine the badges as well as the officer's attire. If in question call 911 to confirm the officer's name and badge number.
Keep your door partly closed when answering to prevent a fake police officer from being able to push you out of the way and gain immediate access to your home.
Inquire what the visit is about. Ask for specifics, especially if the officers request to come inside. If the situation seems questionable close the door, lock it, and call 911 to ask about the situation. They will be able to advise you of the police officer's legitimate status and how to proceed.
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