Impersonating a police officer is a crime. Sure, it isn’t violent, but it can cause you lots of suffering, especially if the person has malicious intent. But, it is pretty to tell if an individual is a real or fake law enforcement officer. Here’s how;
First of all, a cop will flash his or her ID to let you know who they are. The idea is to ensure that you cooperate fully. What does that mean? Well, it implies that you should ask for a job ID if the person isn’t showing it to you. That’s the surest way to know who it is that you’re dealing with.
And, the ID has to look real. Beware of fake IDs because they can get you duped easily. Speaking of which, you can check here how a police ID should look like. On top of that, be familiar with your local police badge design and uniform. That way, it is easier to pick out an impersonator.
You can spot a fake cop by the way he or she knocks at your door. Start by listening for the officer’s knock and announce. After that, be sure to look for a unit form belt, complete with all the bells and whistles. Check to see if the officer is carrying other everyday items you’d expect to see with a cop.
You can quickly pinpoint a police impersonator by looking at their car. Be warned if the vehicle appears older and in bad condition. Be on the lookout for reflective decals on the side and hood of the car at night.
Further, you can tell if the vehicle is real by looking at the lights. More specifically, look for flashing LED bar lights and headlights. Besides, a real police car should have a warning siren to stop you or any other motorist for that matter. It is also essential to note that most states don’t allow the use of unmarked police vehicles.
It is not uncommon to run into a police impersonator on social media platforms such as Facebook. Here, be on the lookout for an eagle as the profile picture, the flag, and unclear references to the person’s employer. In other words, don’t trust anyone who tells you that he or she is a police officer online.
Insist on meeting the person at the station if he or she wants to see you. Also, never give your details to a stranger posing as a law enforcement officer online.
The Bottom Line
It is critical to take some precautions if you have doubts about a specific cop(s). Don’t be afraid to ask for the badge. Never pull over in a dimly lit place – the law allows you to find a public place. And, don’t hesitate to call 911 if you have any reason to believe that you’re dealing an impersonator – this is the easiest way to confirm the officer’s identity. As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.