Warnings on social media claim that sex traffickers are leaving drug laced roses on the windshields of female motorists as a way of kidnapping them.
The warnings claim that sex traffickers will place drug laced roses on the windshield of empty cars and wait for the motorist to return to their vehicle, smell the rose, become influenced by its potent effect and as such make themselves vulnerable to the sex traffickers.
OK this is disturbing please pass this on to your children boys and girls believe it or not. If they go to their car and they find a rose on the windshield tell them to get in the car lock the doors drive off and put on the windshield wipers to get rid of the rose. Do not smell The rose, do not handle the rose. You are being watched by a trafficker. Typically the rose is sprayed with the something that will make you easily handled.￼￼￼￼ I can’t believe people are this sick. It is homecoming season and the kids will think it is from a boy or a girl or an admirer. Please warn them. Pray over them.￼￼
The viral copy and paste warning is the latest in a never ending stream of baseless, alarmist, and panicked posts that claims to describe the latest and trending method used by kidnappers or sex traffickers to kidnap vulnerable females.
The warning joins a countless number of other equally spurious warnings including the plastic bottle in the wheelwell warning, the zip tie on side mirror warning, the drug laced business card warning, the paper or $100 bill on the windshield warning and the baby car seat on the side of the road warning.
As with all those examples, there are no reputable reports that we could find of such a crime actually occurring, either in the form of documented cases published by the police (or other relevant authority) or any credible media reports. Additionally, the warning lacks any details or information that would make the warning particularly useful, including –
1. Where is the crime happening? What state, country or region?
2. What police departments or entities are warning of the crime?
3. How did the author of the warning know the rose was laced with drugs?
4. How did the author of the warning know sex traffickers are using this specific method?
It is possible the warning was inspired by this 2019 story where a female motorist found a rose on her windshield and felt lightheaded. However after being examined, the rose wasn’t found to contain any drugs, and was not linked to sex trafficking.
Another similar hoax from 2019 claimed that drug laced roses were being left on car door handles in the US state of Kentucky, but this was later dismissed by police.
Like most “scarelore” warnings that purport of some type of trap laid out for female motorists, not only does it fail to answer the above questions, it also falls foul of basic scrutiny. Why would sex traffickers risk exposing themselves by placing drug laced paraphernalia on vehicles and then hiding nearby in wait, only to risk the returning motorist not noticing, caring or (for whatever reason) simply ignoring the rose, or not smelling it?
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Of course, sex trafficking is a genuine threat, but these types of warnings are guilty of over-simplifying the risks involved by creating the illusion that sex traffickers use very specific and trending methods to lure victims into making themselves vulnerable. While the methods described in these warnings are not outside the realms of possibility, there is no evidence they are actually occurring, let alone trending, or represent something specific to be on the lookout for.
As always, common sense, catch-all advice about would-be victims not putting themselves into situations whereby they may be vulnerable to crime such as muggings, kidnapping or sex trafficking is always far more effective. Such advice includes not parking in isolated or dark areas if alone, staying with friends or a crowd whenever possible, always being aware of your surroundings, not carrying valuables with you, only going to areas you know well when you are alone, body language and self-defence basics.
However, with the warnings above, that attempt to detail very specific scenarios (that, as mentioned, we cannot find any evidence are occurring) are ultimately counter-productive and serve only to alarm, confuse and misinform readers.