Usually carried out by a group of people, the fake police officer scam is a popular one in many large cities. The scheme starts with a stranger approaching a tourist and offering expensive items like watches or illicit items such as drugs. While conversing one or two other people will approach, and present themselves as police officers complete with badges. They will then insist the unknowing traveler to hand over his or her passport as he or she is engaged in illegal activity. They will then extort money from the victim and if he or she refuses, they will threaten to arrest and detain the tourist.
How To Avoid It:
Do not hand over your wallet or passport to anyone without proper identification. Request them to show you their ID and then inform them you will call the police to confirm they are who they say they are. Also tell them your passport is locked up in the hotel safe and they’ll need to accompany you to your hotel. If they don’t allow this, simply walk away, preferably to an area with other tourists or with a guard.