It's a "warning to women" and it's once again popping up in the social media of Wagga residents, but is there any truth to this supposed precautionary tale?
If you believe the post, a woman named Chloe had a lucky escape in Queensland after a wanted man used a fake police blue light and tried to pull her over while driving an "unmarked" police car, but she had the good sense to dial the mobile emergency number 112 and get some timely help.
But, according to NSW police, the tale needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.
The post also perpetuates a myth that women driving alone do not have to pull over for an unmarked police car,
With that in mind, police do have some handy tips on what to do if you are pulled over and have concerns.
According to a spokesperson, you should:
- Always ask for official police identification. A police officer's badge will have a coloured backing and have a separate photo identification card.
- If you suspect someone is impersonating a police officer, contact the police station the officer says they belong to in order to verify their identity.
- Always source a phone number independently rather than calling a number provided by suspicious individuals. People can also call verified police phone numbers, such as the Police Assistance Line (131 444), Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000) or of course Triple Zero (000) in case of an emergency.
- Any officers executing a search warrant should provide you with a copy of the warrant outlining all the details, including your rights. Search warrants will always be videotaped and an independent officer will be present; any concerns should be directed towards the independent officer.
- Always look for the officer's arms and appointments. All officers should be in possession of a police radio.
Police have also pointed out that cases of people impersonating police represent only a minor percentage of crimes that are reported in NSW.
"It is important for the public to know that these cases are not common," spokesperson said.