BRICK, NJ — Brick Township police say a social media post claiming a young woman’s car was “marked” by sex traffickers at the Brick Walmart is an unfounded rumor.
The post on Facebook, which has been shared more than 3,500 times, claims a friend of the poster was shopping at the Walmart with her child. When the poster’s friend returned to her vehicle, she allegedly was stopped by a woman who pointed out writing on the back window and told her the writing is how sex traffickers are “tagging” potential victims.
A photo with the post shows a car with smeared white writing on the rear window. The first character isn’t fully legible and is followed by “fIB.” The poster wrote: “im just going to assume that it stands for 1 female 1 baby.” The photo was taken at the Brick Township municipal building, and the poster claimed Brick Township police had been notified.
Brick Township Sgt. Jim Kelly said the department had not been notified.
“We have no reports for anything like this,” Kelly said.
He also said the department has not been alerted by state or federal authorities of any information that indicates criminals are marking vehicles “as a method for anything.” It’s simply another Facebook rumor without any facts, Kelly said.
It plays on what experts say is the most pervasive myth about human trafficking: that it often involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation. The Polaris Project, which tracks human trafficking and advocates for awareness, says the reality is “most traffickers use psychological means such as, tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitative labor.”
“A majority of the time, victims are trafficked by someone they know, such as a friend, family member or romantic partner,” according to Save The Children, another nonprofit seeking to raise awareness and combat sex trafficking.