Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Fake Police Officer Distraction Burglary Scam

Portland, Oregon couple describe scam for their guns, money

04/01/04 - (Oregonian) An elderly couple told Portland police they were scammed Wednesday morning by a man who claimed to be a police officer.

He took cash and guns from their home.

The elderly man told police he was walking near Northeast 56th Avenue and Hancock Street around noon when he was stopped by a man in a car who flashed a badge and said he was a special investigator.

The man said he had been watching the elderly man for weeks and accused him of harboring a fugitive from the East Coast, Portland police said.

He even produced a photo of the purported fugitive and convinced the man to get into the car and take him to his home in the 3200 block of Northeast 83rd Avenue.

When they arrived, the man claiming to be a detective began asking whether the couple had weapons or cash in the house.

He took a pistol, a revolver, $2,300 in cash and a woman's wedding ring.

When the elderly man got suspicious and said he was going to call police, the imposter warned him not to, saying he would be taken to the police station and questioned for hours.

Then he left the house and fled.

Phony-police scam nets its 4th victim

By Masaaki Harada - The Journal Gazette

04/08/04 - Indiana - A Fort Wayne woman was swindled out of more than $2,000 by two women impersonating police officers Tuesday, police said.

This is the fourth time the same scam has been reported to Fort Wayne police since last year.

Police are alerting the public not to give any money to people claiming to be police officers without first asking to see a search warrant or proper identification.

Two women in plain clothes visited a house in the 2900 block of Shady Oak Drive about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The women claimed they were police officers investigating a bank robbery and said the suspect was associated with the house, police said.

The women told the victim they would need to see the cash in the house, police said.

The impersonators took $2,000 from safes and an additional $100 kept in an envelope, police said.

Complete descriptions of the women were not available.

One of the women was wearing a badge that read criminal investigator. The other woman did not have a badge because she was in training, the women reportedly told the victim.

The women made a phone call to a man who identified himself to the victim as Capt. Don.

The victim did not believe their story at first, police said, but finally was convinced by the man on the phone and gave the women the money.

"This is exactly the same story in previous cases," city police spokesman Mike Joyner said.

The department has investigated three similar scams since last May, Joyner said.

In the previous cases, the impersonators were a man and a woman.

Police believe Tuesday's scam was by the same group, Joyner said.

Fake Police Scam Artists Arrested

02/08 - South Africa - Three men who "arrested" numerous people across northern KwaZulu-Natal for supposedly stealing a roll of money before robbing them, were themselves arrested near Newcastle yesterday, police said.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said the men would watch people who withdrew money from the bank and then follow one of them.

One of the three men would throw a roll of paper, with two banknotes wrapped around it, at their intended victim’s feet.

As the victim picked up the roll of money at his feet one of the scam artists would also claim the money.

As the two would attempt to resolve their differences the other two scam artists would arrive on scene and promptly "arrest" both the victim and their accomplice.

They would then be bundled into a car, but not before they had emptied their pockets into an envelope which was "sealed for evidence".

They would then drive past a police station, haul out a gun and rob their victim of any other belongings, including cellphones.

Moments after one victim had been dumped along the roadside outside Newcastle, two members of the police’s dog unit spotted the unhappy man, who told them his story.

They gave chase and the three were arrested. Several cellphones and the man’s R4000 was also recovered.

The car they were driving - a maroon Audi with an NU registration - was also impounded.

Magudulela said the men had been operating throughout northern KwaZulu-Natal with several similar robberies reported in Ladysmith, Glencoe, Dundee and Newcastle since 2005.

The Times

Police Impersonators Attempt Home Robbery

UK - 01/08 - The frightened victim of an attempted distraction burglary has spoken of her fear after she was targeted by two bogus policeman on Friday.

The 25-year-old, who is too scared to give her name, has spoken exclusively to the Advertiser to reveal her ordeal.

The young woman was alone in the house, in Knowl Hill, when the fake detectives tricked their way into the house after 11am.

The men then searched the ground floor and also rifled through the glove box of the lady’s before leaving empty handed.

Despite nothing being taken, the experience has left the woman nervous and frightened.

"I am more bothered about it than I thought I would be," she said.

"It has made be really paranoid. Every time I'm out I keep on looking out for the men who did it and I have now bought a chain for the door- I would never open the door to two men again."

The offenders, who were both white and were wearing smart business-like clothing, claimed they were investigating a noise complaint and were very persuasive.

"One of the most frightening things was how confident and smooth they were.

Every time I asked them a question they turned it round, and although they made me feel uncomfortable and harassed, I didn’t suspect for a minute that they were not real police officers."

The men, one of them aged about 40 and the other 25 to 30, even showed the woman counterfeit police badges.

"They flashed me their badges, and when the real police came to interview me I was shown a real one- they were very good fakes," she added.

"I am quite an assertive person but they still managed to trick their way into the house.

I think they were looking for antiques or other valuables but as the house is being refurbished at the moment all they found were a whole lot of boxes.

"The house is in an quiet, affluent area and a lot of the people around here are retired.

A lot people feel safe her and are less suspicious that they should be. They think that crime is all down on the housing estates."

The young woman is keen to raise awareness about fake police, especially in the wake of a similar incident in Datchet on Wednesday, January 16 when an elderly women was targeted.

She said: "If you have any suspicions then ask for their badge numbers and call the police station for confirmation.

The whole thing has made me feel violated and I hope that no one else has to go through what I did."

Maidenhead Advertiser

Fake Police Officer Home Extortion Scam - article