Off the record: Be safe and aware.

Have you heard the news that has been going around the internet lately? Concern is being raised by women discovering odd markings outside of their homes or random water bottles on their automobiles.

These seem like strategies that human traffickers and kidnappers would employ to target women, based on viral videos. It is thought that the code “1F” stands for “one female,” who uses the water bottle as a lure to entice women out of their cars.

In one of these videos, a woman is seen recording a car in a parking lot as a wire is fastened to the door handle. “WTF is this a joke?” is written in the caption. It is imperative that no one is abducted. To everyone’s surprise, a second car is seen, its handle wrapped in wire.

A man made a TikTok video in response to these frightening videos, stating that attaching a zip tie, wire, or thread to a car door is a typical strategy employed by abductors of women. “One of the oldest tricks in the book,” as he puts it. To make it more difficult to remove quickly and give thieves and kidnappers an opportunity to attack, the wire is coiled around the handle.

Nonetheless, it’s critical to maintain perspective. The “wire trick” was first described in a 2015 Facebook post. Police in Canada, where the post first appeared, verified that this strategy had not resulted in any kidnappings. Likewise, groups that combat human trafficking have failed to identify the “wire trick” as a prevalent practice.

These social media alerts are written off by some experts as scare tactics or urban tales. They stress that traffickers target people they know rather than complete strangers and do the majority of their business online.

Being watchful and alert of our surroundings is always necessary, but it’s just as crucial to control your fear. Remain knowledgeable, follow your gut, and ask for assistance when required. We can all live in a safer community if we work together.

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