If You See A Wire Tied To Your Car Door Handle, Do Not Call The Police
By Dave Basner
March 11, 2021
Lately, there have been stories about women needing to worry if they see "1F" written outside of their home or if they find a bottle of water on their car. According to viral videos it means they are being targeted by traffickers and kidnappers - the "1F" stands for "one female," and the water bottle is apparently a tactic used to get women to leave their car to take the bottle off of it.
Well now, a new video is making the rounds. In it, a woman in a parking lot films a car with wire tied to the door handle. The video says, "WTF is this a joke? Someone better not get kidnapped." It goes on to show a second car with the wire on its handle.
Soon after, another TikTok video went up from a man who claimed that the wire or string or a zip-tie on the car door is a common strategy used by people hoping to kidnap women. He captioned his video "One of the oldest tricks in the book." He explains the wire used is twisted on the handle because it takes a long time to get off and gives criminals an opportunity to abduct a victim.
He suggests if you see the wire on your car not to approach it alone and to go back to wherever you came from or wherever is most populated and get help.
It turns out though that there probably is no cause for concern. The "wire trick" first appeared in a Facebook post in 2015, but according to the Poynter Institute, the police in the Canadian city where the post originated said there were no reports of kidnappings due to the tactic. Even groups against sex trafficking haven't seen the "wire trick" as a trend.
When another wave of social media warnings hit in 2019 stemming from Texas and Michigan, the Director of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute at the University of Toledo, Ohio called the claims "ridiculous." Another cop described them as "an urban legend or a scare-lore." They warn that the biggest tool traffickers use to lure people is the computer since they mostly work online, or they go after someone they know. According to authorities, "Very rare is it for them to prey on a stranger."
Photo: Dave Basner