Geneva residents warned about upsurge in border scams

Fake border guards threatening drivers for fictive charity collections

Ignore them! say border guards – their stories are fake from start to finish

Mategnin récolte de fonds

Fake border guards at Mategnin, threatening drivers for fake charity drives

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Customs officials warned of a scam at unmanned border posts near Geneva in recent days.

Border guards say they have received reports of people, usually North African in appearance, wearing fluorescent vests similar to those of the real guards, who have verbally threatened drivers to collect money from them, tried to stop cars or who have stood in the road blocking cars, saying they are selling Easter bunnies for a good cause.

Drivers have complained of being hassled by the thieves at the border posts of Mategnin, Pierre à Bochet, Cara and Veyrier recently.

The scam isn’t new, says the customs office. The public was warned against similar frauds in March 2007, June 2008 and October 2009, when the fake guards were selling nougats, postcards or stuffed animals.

Those trying to collect money sometimes say and even show authorizations, but these, too, are fake, say the border police.

For comparison, the border guards have issued a photo of what a real border check looks like: note the difference in uniforms, the cones, the signs, the vehicle – and no requests for money.

Contrôle de gardes-frontière

The real thing: a border check and no demands for money