Women at Malls are Being Tricked Into Dangerous Situations by Clever Abductors–Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The TV show INSIDE EDITION is said to have featured some of the ways that women are abducted from shopping malls. The show staged several examples in which women were, for example, offered a spontaneous opportunity to act or appear in a TV commercial, then were lured outside to their doom or asked to urgently come help a baby who had stopped breathing. The email also describes an alleged incident at a mall in Ohio in which a women who discovered a flat tire was offered help by a man on the scene. She became suspicious, resisted his offers to accompany him to his car on the other side of the mall and later discovered that the air had been intentionally let out of her tire and that the man had left behind a briefcase with a knife and a rope in it.
It pays to be cautious and there are stories of women who have been accosted in public places, but this email is not based on true accounts. The INSIDE EDITION show did take place and did demonstrate how easily people can be lured into a risky situation, but was not based on any actual events. There is no record of the Ohio story. Also, most versions of this eRumor have not included the J.C. Penny reference. That is a recent addition. If this ever was circulated by a J.C. Penny office, it’s likely that it was a version of the original rumor.
The notice below was posted on JCPenney’s e-mail this morning to sales associates and customers:
Recently on Inside Edition there was an article about several new scams to abduct women. In one, a man comes up to a woman in a Mall or Shopping Center and asks if she likes pizza. When she says she does, he offers her $10000 to shoot a commercial for Pizza, but they need to go outside where the lighting is better. When the woman goes out of the mall she is abducted and assaulted.
Another ploy is a very nicely dressed man asks a woman if she would be in a Public Service announcement to discourage drug use. The man explains that they don’t want professional actors or celebrities; they want the average mother to do this. Once she leaves the mall she is a victim.
The third ploy, and the most successful, a very frantic man comes running in to the mall and asks a woman to please help him, his baby is not breathing. She runs out of the mall following him and also becomes a victim.
These have been happening in well-lit parking areas, in daylight as well as night time, all over the country. The abductor usually uses a van to abduct the woman.
‘Inside Edition’ set up a test in a Mall and 10 out of 15 women went out of the mall on the Pizza and the PSA scam. And all of them went out of the mall on the baby scam.
Please pass this along to your friends and family as now that it has been shown on nation-wide TV there are bound to be copycats of this. The third one, I think, is the scariest. You might resist pizza or becoming a commercial celebrity…but who would be able to resist a frantic father asking for help for his child?
A woman was shopping at the Tuttle Mall in Columbus. She came out to her car and saw she had a flat. She got her jack and spare out of the trunk. A man in a business suit came up and started to help her. When the tire had been replaced, he asked for a ride to his car on the opposite side of the mall. Feeling uncomfortable about doing this, she stalled for a while, but he kept pressing her. She finally asked why he was on this side of the mall if his car was on the other. He claimed he had been talking to friends.
Still uncomfortable, she told him that she had Just remembered something she had forgotten to pick up at the mall and she left him and went back inside the mall. She reported the incident to the mall security and they went out to her car.
The man was nowhere in sight. Opening her trunk, she discovered a briefcase the man had set inside her trunk while helping her with the tire. Inside were rope and a butcher knife. And, when she took the tire to be fixed, the mechanic informed her that there was nothing wrong with her tire, that it was flat because the air had been let out of it.
I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.
Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it….better safe than sorry.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT SORRY! JUST A WARNING TO ALWAYS BE ALERT AND USE YOUR HEAD!!!
Pass this along to every woman you have access to. Never let your guard down.
Sincerely, Kelly LeBlanc, PHR JCPenney Direct Marketing Services Human Resources
Sincerely, Susan Harris, Senior Project Manager
and on that note, someone else added:
One complaint about this warning . . . they didn’t offer any alternatives. If someone comes running frantically for help with a baby who isn’t breathing, the first step should be alerting security and calling 911. I don’t think we should be scared into not helping someone, just smart about how we provide help, both for ourselves and the individual in our care.