Scammer pretended to be Chicago cop, illegally searched bag — BBB issues warning

A warning from the Better Business Bureau, as scammers are increasingly impersonating Chicago-area police officers to steal your money and identity.

Early Thursday morning, a 36-year-old man says he was threatened and assaulted by another man who claimed to be a police officer. It happened at the CTA Red Line Addison stop around 1 a.m.

The victim told FOX 32 Chicago the perpetrator displayed a badge and illegally searched the victim’s mother’s bag.


According to the BBB, within the last month, there’s been an uptick of scammers impersonating local and national law enforcement.

Victims have been targeted by phone, email, text message, and on social media.

The con-artists are requesting money and personal information, and even threatening people with fines and imprisonment.

"We saw it happen a lot at the federal level. They would call up and say, ‘hey we’re social security, we're the treasury department, we're the IRS. And that's been going on. Those type of impostor scams have been going on for quite a while. But now they're even getting local. So we're seeing local agencies getting calls. And people get really afraid when they hear that not only is there a problem, but now there might be law enforcement involved," said Thomas Johnson of the BBB.

The BBB says if you receive a call from someone who claims their law enforcement, and they're requesting money or personal information, they say you should hang up and call the agency directly. Also, report any scams to the BBB.