What you need to know about FAKE POLICEMAN SCAMS
How They Work
This scam usually starts with the victim approaching an escort service or massage parlour. He is unable to secure an appointment as the lady is always busy or wants up-front payment before the appointment.
A week or two goes by before a “policeman’ contacts the victim and claims that they have either been charged with rape or similar charges. The victim is then asked to pay a “fee” to the fake police officer to make the investigation go away or to pay “compensation” to the victim.
Variations of this include sending unsolicited photos of young women to the victims cellphone via WhatsApp. This is followed by contact from the “policeman” who accuses them of engaging with a minor / distributing or being in possession of child pornography – again the case can be resolved with a fine.
This scam can also be initiated from TINDER contacts.
HOW TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM
Fake Policemen will list their OWN numbers on TrueCaller to give themselves “authenticity”.
Don’t automatically believe what you see when researching their numbers. The photos they use on WhatsApp profiles are easily stolen from PR or social media pics of police officers.
NEVER use your regular traceable phone number when engaging with escort agencies. adult entertainment or personals adverts.
Think before you click!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE A VICTIM
Do NOT pay them anything – if you’ve already paid them, STOP. Do not make any further payments. They cannot post naked photos on Facebook and similar platforms – the platform won’ allow those pics and will block/ban their accounts. Report the matter to the South African Police Services Impersonating a Police Officer is a criminal offence Consider changing your cellular number as the stammers will try repeatedly with different scams once you’re on their radar. Check your digital-footprint to understand what research the scammer may have done to identify you and learn more about you. It is not unheard of that they will call victims at work to intimidate them if the victims work details are publicly available.