post about human trafficking have been popping up across social media

Over the past two weeks, Facebook and Twitter has been plagued with various reports of human trafficking at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center located just miles away from campus.

Post like this has been shared thousands of times on social media

These posts allege that female shoppers are being targeted by human traffickers and claim that there have been multiple kidnapping attempts at the shopping center.

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These social media post are fake according to the Orange County Sheriff office.

“Through our investigation, we have learned a lot of the information written was gleaned from other social media posts that have been posted over the past several years nationwide,” Orange County Sheriff Public Information Officer Jane Watrel said. “several of which have been debunked as “urban legend.””

Knight News reached out the Waterford Shopping center’s management team, Washington Prime, for comment but the company did not immediately reply.

The Orange County Sheriff Office told Knight News that they will continue to investigate all reports of human trafficking and that the department takes these claims very seriously.

“We urge the public to continue contacting their respective law enforcement departments if they believe a crime is occurring,” Watrel said.