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Victoria police say no reports of ‘red van kidnappings’ despite online rumours

VicPD says circulating information likely a hoax
Victoria police issued a statement Feb. 12 to clarify that they’ve received no reports of red van kidnapping attempts despite online rumours. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria police say that online rumours circulating about “red van kidnapping attempts” are very likely a hoax.

Issuing a statement Friday, the department clarified that it hasn’t received any reports of kidnappings by someone in a red van. They have, however, received numerous inquiries from Victoria residents who are concerned about the rumours that they’ve seen circulating on online sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and NextDoor.

“If we were aware of ongoing attempts to target and kidnap women by a vehicle prowling the streets, we would be loudly sharing that information far and wide to warn our community,” spokesperson Bowen Osoko said. The kidnapping rumours have been seen across B.C. and police in other areas have responded similarly, calling the posts fake news.

Osoko emphasized that people should still call the police if they have any concerns about crime though.

RELATED: Don’t panic: How parents can deal with internet hoaxes

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