Safety warning regarding police impersonators and financial scams
Police along the Front Range have received reports of individuals impersonating police officers pulling over vehicles under the guise of enforcing stay-at-home orders. Reports of police impersonators have emerged in Fort Collins and Larimer County, Weld County, Boulder County and the Denver area.
In some of these cases, the impersonators wore clothing such as reflective vests and hats with police department logos, and used red and blue flashing lights in their vehicles, while pulling over drivers and speaking with them. The impersonators have asked for licenses, vehicle registration and insurance information.
Colorado State University Police, Fort Collins Police Services and other area law enforcement are not actively patrolling and conducting vehicle stops for the sole purpose of assessing if stay-at-home orders are being violated.
If someone attempts to pull you over in an unmarked police car, there are steps you can take before stopping your vehicle to verify that the person contacting you is an officer.
What to do if you are being contacted by someone you suspect is a police impersonator
If you believe you are being pulled over by a person who may be impersonating a police officer, be cautious, and remember the safety tips below from Colorado State University Police Department:
- Put on your flashers, drive the speed limit and call 911 from your cell phone. Tell the 911 dispatcher that you are concerned that someone is trying to pull you over in an unmarked car that may not be a police officer. Ask the dispatcher to verify whether the car attempting to pull you over is indeed a law enforcement officer. If you do not have a cell phone, drive to a well-lit, busy area such as the parking lot of a busy store such as a grocery store.
- Do not flee from the vehicle attempting to pull you over.
- Do not stop your vehicle or get out of your vehicle until a dispatcher can confirm you are being pulled over by a legitimate police officer.
- If the dispatcher cannot confirm that you are being pulled over by a police officer, stay on the line with the dispatcher, and ask for police assistance. Drive carefully to a safe place, such as a local police department.
- Do not provide personal documents – driver’s license, insurance information or other documents – to someone who you suspect of being a police impersonator.
- If you are issued documents that may be suspicious, contact the issuing agency about their legitimacy.
- Report anything suspicious to police; please don’t wait to make a report.
Scams have emerged related to COVID-19, including new twists on job offer emails, phony federal stimulus check offers, malicious websites and fraudulent donation collections.
Most of these attempts to gain money or financial information are made through phone calls, emails or text messages.
For advice and information about scams related to COVID-19, visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus and https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams. Report a suspected scam at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/. If you have been swindled out of money, file a police report with your local police.
Although not a scam, University employees holding meetings and conversations through Zoom should be careful about sharing their codes widely; trolls are taking advantage of these opportunities to cause disruption by broadcasting graphic images.
The Public Safety Team
Email sent to university community March 31