IN THE wake of two stops made by phony cops in Northeast Philadelphia on Wednesday, a real cop, Lt. John Stanford, gave a few tips to keep in mind:

* If an unmarked car or truck is pulling you over and you're not sure if it's a real cop or not, "the first thing I would say to do is put on your hazard lights and drive to a location that's well-lit," Sanford said. "Don't make it look like you're fleeing, in case it is a police officer, but you do want to go to an area that's well-lit."

* Real police, whether in uniform or plainclothes, should have a badge identifying them and a Philadelphia Police Department-issued ID. Ask to see both when you're stopped.

* If you're being pulled over and you suspect the "officer" may be a fraud, call 9-1-1 and give your location, a description of the person and the car stopping you and request a marked car, then stay in your vehicle until the marked car gets there.

-Morgan Zalot