Viral “Sex Trafficking Warning” Unvalidated, Say Fremont Police

UPDATE:  After the initial publication of this article, a police report about the incident was made. Fremont Police say the incident will be investigated.

Although human trafficking is an issue in every city across the United States, there is no credible evidence that traffickers are using markers like these to identify potential victims. Multiple cities have experienced similar incidents, but police and FBI agencies show no record of kidnappings or kidnap attempts occurring as a result of these “marker” incidents. The phenomenon started in San Angelo, TX last October.


Sex trafficking is real. Women are most likely to be trafficked by someone they know or have recently met and become friendly with. Traffickers most often use romance and psychological pressure, guilt and blackmail to control their victims.

If you are experiencing pressure or coersion to perform sex acts, paid or unpaid, contact The Bridge crisis center at 1-888-721-4340. If you suspect that someone is being trafficked, call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.



FREMONT – An image is going viral in the Fremont community showing a white strip tied around a car door handle, claiming that this is a marker for sex traffickers to target the driver. Fremont Police say that claim can’t be substantiated.

“As of this writing, our department has not received any calls from anyone who actually found a white marker of this type on her car,” said Lieutenant Ed Watts in a Friday afternoon Facebook post. “Furthermore, we have not been able to find any corroborating information that this is legitimate.”

Similar warnings have circulated on the internet before – you may have seen a similar warning about finding zip ties on your car or mailbox – but were never validated by any policing agency. 

The original post was made on Twitter and has been widely shared on Facebook as well.

“We always advocate for the safety of our citizens. While we can’t confirm this is legitimate, if you find any such item on or near your car and are in fear, you can call the Fremont Police at (402) 727-2677 or 911. As always, be aware of your surroundings at all times and park in well lit areas,” Watts finished.