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Hattiesburg police warn of fake ‘kidnapping’ Facebook post | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – A post is circulating on Facebook about a man allegedly trying to abduct women from their cars.

The poster claims a man driving a red truck intentionally hits women’s cars and abducts them once they pull over. The post, and others like it, have often gone viral in local communities.

However, the Hattiesburg Police Dept. said the post is a fake, a scam. Not only that, but the HPD also said these types of scams are becoming more and more common.

“The latest big thing, and this is going on around the country, is on Facebook,” said Ryan Moore, HPD public information officer. “It’s a social media scam, and what you see is everything from a person trying to abduct people or trying to lure women or something like that… We’re on probably the 14th or 15th one that we’ve seen just in the last month.”

While it’s easy to believe something you see online, Moore said there are a few indicators that a post may not be legit.

“It’s just a matter of content,” said Moore. “It’s short. It’s not… it’s not very specific; It’s base information. They change the name of the city, the location, the state, maybe, and then they share it. And it’s like wildfire… They originate at a certain portion of the country, and then they go… most commonly by the buy, sell, trade, or the marketplace… those random pages.”

HPD said the best thing to do if you suspect something might be a scam is to call law enforcement and ask.

“We have our social media pages, our Facebook page, that if somebody wants to reach out and send a message in, you know, with a screenshot that says, ‘Hey, I saw this on Facebook or hey, my neighborhood association, somebody like that, may have shared this… is there any truth to it?’ We get those messages all week long, seven days a week, and it’s always good, and we certainly thank and appreciate them when they do reach out to the official source to validate or, you know, confirm on something like that.”

Another common type of scam involves someone pretending to be law enforcement, calling residents and asking for money for warrants or something similar. Moore said HPD would never call anyone asking for any type of payment and advised you should just hang up.

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