Ladies – here’s a danger you might not have thought about: Always trusting a man in uniform! Here’s the scoop from Condé Nast publications. Gil Alba is the president of Alba Investigations and a former NYPD detective. And he says police impersonators are on the rise. That’s because it’s easy to get fake uniforms and badges online. Criminals dress up and look for women who seem to be too trusting, too polite or too tipsy to question their credentials.
Also, there are perpetrators who use fake sirens and lights to pull women over on the road. You should know that in most precincts, only uniformed officers in marked police cars pull people over. Not those in “civilian” undercover cars. So, if an unmarked car is flashing you to pull over, do so in a well-lit, well-populated area. But if that’s not possible, follow this strategy from former NYPD homicide detective Robert Rahn:
- Grab your cell phone while you look in the mirror and watch what the other driver is doing. Usually, officers must radio in to their precinct when they stop a car.
- Be wary if he’s not wearing a uniform. In most jurisdictions, officers must be wearing a uniform to make a traffic stop. Even if the supposed officer flashes a badge, do not roll down your window or unlock your door.
- If you still have doubts that the man asking you to pull over is really a cop, call 911 to verify that there’s an officer in the area making a traffic stop at your location. If there isn’t, ask them to send one and keep driving until back-up arrives.