Viral Social Media Posts About Human Trafficking In Canada Are Fake According To Police
Police received no reports of the incidents.
Even if you share posts with good intentions, without checking all the facts you could get duped. Local police in B.C. and Alberta have said that two viral posts on Instagram and Facebook are likely hoaxes. The posts describe methods used by human traffickers to kidnap women and have seen tons of shares and reposts since early January. The viral human-trafficking hoaxes have since been debunked by local police.
One post shared throughout Facebook described a drug-laced $100 bill tied to a car. Another on Instagram showed two cars zip-tied together.
Both cases purportedly happened in Northgate Mall in Burnaby, B.C., according to CTV News, although similar posts are circulating in Edmonton and throughout California.
However, local police are saying they've never received any reports describing either incident.
The posts have been shared so much on social media that it's impossible to know how many people have seen them.
In the Facebook post, the user claimed that their friend had found $100 tied with a red ribbon to the handle of her car in the parking lot of a Burnaby mall. Then she noticed a man in a nearby van was watching her.
According to the post, she ran inside the mall and called the police. They claim that police responded, saying the situation "was a ploy sex traffickers are using to kidnap women and children."
"Don't touch anything left on your vehicle as it could be laced with something that would absorb into your skin and make you groggy or even pass out," reads the posting.
"We have not received any reports regarding the incident described above and believe it to be a hoax that has been circulating online," wrote the Edmonton Police Service on their Facebook account.
Additionally, the person who shared the post admitted it wasn't their story and that they had read it from somewhere else.
The second viral post has been making its rounds on Instagram after a picture of two cars tied together by zip ties went viral.
According to posters, the "contraption" makes women look in their purse for something to cut it.
"Once they’re distracted, boom! They are quickly forced into another vehicle never to be seen again by their people," wrote one user on Instagram.
Burnaby RCMP told CTV News they haven't heard or received any record of the interaction taking place.
"As of right now this appears to be a post that has unfortunately been shared on social media and caused unnecessary concern to Burnaby residents," wrote the RCMP to CTV News.
In a statement to Global News, Burnaby RCMP also warned social media users to be careful what they believe or share online.
"We caution people to think twice, do some research and if they are concerned about whether this occurred or not to contact police before sharing these posts," said RCMP to Global News.
Narcity has reached out to the Edmonton Police Service and Vancouver Police Department for comment and will update this story.