A Text is Going Around Some Think Might Be Linked to Kidnapping
El Pasoans have been sharing Facebook posts about a pattern of people receiving a creepy text message. Our very own Monika received this text message but made sure not to open it. The text message being sent around looks like this:
I've seen multiple posts and comments from Facebook friends sharing photos of people all around El Paso receiving this message. The scary thing about this text is there is also a rumor going around saying it is linked to sex trafficking. Now, the El Paso area has always been in the news for sex trafficking. It is a serious problem in our area and all around the world, which isn't acknowledged as much as it should be. Sometimes scary incidents become viral and bring attention to the subject once again, especially when they hit close to home.
This Facebook Live post by Ashley Estrada, which you can watch below, details an incident in our area. She was recently involved in a scary situation of a man trying to get into her car in the Rojas and George Dieter area.
Luckily, Ashley made it out of the situation safe but the men who attempted to get to her are still on the run. Now fact-checking is important in this era, so Snopes.com is usually a place I use to check on these type of rumors. According to Snopes, this text message is NOT linked to sex trafficking, it is just an app which sends these messages as "merely an attempt to enlist others to join the service, not to lure them into the clutches of a sex trafficking ring."
Even if the text has been debunked as a link to sex trafficking, the incident described by Ashley is a legit claim by her and confirmed it did happen recently, so everyone should be aware of their surroundings when out by themselves. Make sure you stay safe by parking as close as possible to entrances at all times, especially at night, make sure to park where there is plenty of light and people in the area. Always let people know where you are going and when you will be back. Make sure to call the police if you see anything suspicious or contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888, or text BeFree: 233733).