BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–A new warning has been spreading across social media claiming women are being kidnapped for human trafficking near retail stores but Buffalo Police say that’s not true.
Police say they’ve seen these posts on social media, but they have not seen any cases of women being taken while shopping.
Captain Jeff Rinaldo says be careful of what you believe on social media.
Many of the posts floating around on social media claim that human trafficking is ramping up locally.
The posts warn women to be careful while shopping during the holidays.
Some posts even claim people are putting zip ties on the side mirrors of cars as a distraction to try to kidnap women in parking lots, but Captain Rinaldo says that’s not happening here in Buffalo.
He says many of these posts are creating paranoia.
“We have not seen any of that. However, within some of those posts, there are a number of safety tips that are listed. I would say that the safety tips apply year-round. They’re not bad ideas. If you’re visiting some place you should make sure that you’re parking in a well lit area,” according to Rinaldo.
He also says generally more vulnerable populations such as people addicted to drugs, people engaging in prostitution or immigrants coming into the country are forced into human trafficking.
Again he says people are not being kidnapped from parking lots.
The captain says people should still be vigilant and safe. He says don’t leave personal belongings in your car, and if you’re walking out of a store and don’t feel safe, go back in and ask for an escort to your car.