How it works:
- Situation: there are two versions of this, one rare (targeted at tourists) and one common (targeted at locals).
- Version 1(targeted at tourists): two fake cops flash their badges at you and ask to see your ID and wallet. They could accuse you of an offence you have not committed or give a made up excuse such as that they are searching for drugs. Should they hand them over, they will take some notes out of your wallet via sleight of hand.
- Version 2(targeted at locals): not something to worry about, but inserted here for completeness sake. This is where phone scammers posing as police call elderly residents and pressure them to give up financial information to solve a made-up emergency situation.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Be skeptical: if you have not broken the law. Finnish police does not have a practice of checking your ID or wallet on the streets randomly.
- Three steps: verify badges and threaten to call the police. Never give your passport – only show a photocopy. Only comply at a police station with a lawyer/someone from your embassy.
- Valuables: hide in a money belt/hidden pouch and use a cheap spare wallet with little cash which can be given up.