Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Reports of Police Imposters in Islamabad

U.S. Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad notes that there have been reported incidents in Islamabad of foreigners being approached by non-uniformed individuals claiming to be police, demanding identification and permission to search bags.  These impostors have not been violent, though property and cash have been stolen.  These reported incidents occurred in F-10 and F-6 neighborhoods (near the Super Market).  In all of these cases, there was a brief display of what appeared to be official identification.  In one instance, the unknown individuals drove away when the foreigner moved to a nearby shop with a security guard.

This is not the first time these types of incidents have been reported, though they are infrequent.  It is highly unusual for plainclothes police officers in Islamabad to approach foreigners and ask to search belongings in public places.  We recommend the following actions if you are approached by persons claiming to be police or other authorities:

  • Ask for identification and verify official police IDs.
  • Do not hand over any personal items to be searched.  You may offer to have personal belongings searched at a nearby police station with a uniformed officer present.
  • Remain in public, well-lit areas.  Do not follow suspicious individuals into dark or secluded areas or get in to their vehicle.  Request assistance from nearby police or security guards

Other tips to prevent this and other types of crimes include:

  • Going in groups when visiting public areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.
  • Remain vigilant at all times and be aware of surroundings.

Updated Information on Travel and Security

Updated information on travel and security in Pakistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). For further information, please consult the Travel Warning for Pakistan and the Country Specific Information for Pakistan, as well as the Worldwide Caution. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which also contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips. U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Pakistan are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate General. To view emergency services to U.S. citizens in the different consular districts, please click on the links below:

Contact Information for All U.S. Mission to Pakistan Posts:

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone (92-51) 208-2700; fax (92-51) 282-2632; website; e-mail address: ACSIslamabad@state.gov

The U.S. Consulate General Karachi, located at Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road, Karachi, provides services to U.S. citizens by appointment only. Services can be scheduled by calling (92-21) 3527-5000 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday-Friday; fax (92-21) 3527-5885; website; e-mail: ACSKarachi@state.gov.