UNITED STATES EMBASSY THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Fake-Police Criminal Scam
May 31, 2013
While it is from the US Embassy and Consulate, even if you are not a US citizen you might want to be aware of this scam/crime.
Dutch police recently notified the public of criminal activity by individuals masquerading as Dutch police. This type of petty scam is common in other parts of Europe, usually targeting foreigners and tourists. It comes in many kinds of variants and can involve more than two or three criminals. The basic premise is that someone will accuse you of theft, causing fake police officers to “intervene” (either in uniform or plain clothes), question you, and ask to “search” your wallet to determine your innocence. Through sleight of hand, they will steal your money, credit cards, and other valuables. Victims have reported receiving their wallets back without knowing they have been victimized for hours. It is likely that a similar modus operandi is now being used in the Netherlands, and is being reported in areas frequented by tourists and foreigners throughout the country.
If you think you have been approached by individuals masquerading as police officers, contact the Dutch police at 0900-8844 to verify the identity of the officers before handing over documentation or valuables. Legitimate police officers always carry unique police ID cards, which you are within your rights under Dutch law to request for verification. Legitimate police officers should not hesitate to produce such cards when asked.
As always, however, if you are confronted by a life-threatening situation, contact police and emergency services immediately at 112.
General security information
U.S. citizens in the Netherlands are reminded, in general, that if at any time you feel threatened or in danger, please call the Dutch authorities immediately by dialing 1-1-2 for emergency service response from Dutch police, rescue, and fire departments.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Netherlands enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
We also recommend you regularly monitor the Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. You can also read the Country Specific Information for the Netherlands.
Contact the embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Google play market to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam is located at Museumplein 19, 1071 DJ, Amsterdam and is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM (Monday-Friday). If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the Consulate is (31) (0)70-310 2209.
This e-mail is sent to U.S. citizens and others registered with the Consulate. More on the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, including unsubscribing or changing your registration, is available online.
The e-mail address used by the Consulate to send messages is not monitored. To contact the Consulate, please e-mail us at USCitizenSerivcesAMS@state.gov