Shopping Malls of Doom!
Date Added: Dec. 26, 2002
If you believe everything you read, the malls are the most dangerous place in the world for a woman to be. It's probably no coincidence that this collection of truths, half-truths and outright lies always resurfaces during the holiday season.
Subject: ABDUCTION SCAM
Make sure you read the entire thing. Towards the end is really important!!!!!
Recently on Inside Edition there was an article about several new scams to abduct women. In one, a man comes up to a woman in a Mall or Shopping Center and asks if she likes pizza. When she says she does, he offers her $1,000 to shoot a commercial for Pizza, but they need to go outside where the lighting is better. When the woman goes out of the mall she is abducted and assaulted.
Another ploy is a very nicely dressed man asks a woman if she would be in a Public Service announcement to discourage drug use. The man explains that they don't want professional actors or celebrities; they want the average mother to do this. Once she leaves the mall she is a victim.
The third ploy, the most successful, a frantic man comes running in to the mall and asks a woman to please help him, his baby is not breathing. She runs out of the mall following him and also becomes a victim.
These have been happening in well-lit parking areas, in daylight as well as night time, all over the country. The abductor usually uses a van to abduct the woman. Inside Edition set up a test in a Mall and 10 out of 15 women went out of the mall on the Pizza and the PSA scam. And all of them went out of the mall on the baby scam. Please pass this along to your friends and family as now that it has been shown on nationwide TV there are bound to be copycats of this. The third one, I think, is the scariest.
You might resist pizza or becoming a commercial celebrity but who would be able to resist a frantic father asking for help for his child? I'm sure that one would get me.
A woman was shopping at the Tuttle Mall in Columbus. She came out to her car and saw she had a flat. She got her jack and spare out of the trunk. A man in a business suit came up and started to help her. When the tire had been replaced, he asked for a ride to his car on the opposite side of the mall. Feeling uncomfortable about doing this, she stalled for a while, but he kept pressing her. She finally asked why he was on this side of the mall if his car was on the other. He claimed he had been talking to friends. Still uncomfortable, she told him that she had just remembered something she had forgotten to pick up at the mall and she left him and went back inside the mall. She reported the incident to the mall security and they went out to her car. The man was nowhere in sight. Opening her trunk, she discovered a briefcase the man had set inside her trunk while helping her with the tire. Inside were rope and a butcher knife. And, when she took the tire to be fixed, the mechanic informed her that there was nothing wrong with her tire, that it was at because the air had been let out of it.
I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, you can pass this on to your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it. Better safe than sorry.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT SORRY! JUST A WARNING TO ALWAYS BE ALERT AND USE YOUR HEAD!!! Pass this along to every woman you have access to.
Later versions of this chain claimed it "was posted on JCPenney's e-mail this morning to all Female Associates." The e-mail signatures of two employees of JC Penney Direct Marketing Services had been automatically attached when they forwarded it, causing a case of False Attribution Syndrome.
Newer versions claim the information came from a lady who was passing out fliers at the mall "the previous day." The chain claims the events happened to the flier lady, but the account is nearly identical to the "flat tire" story above.
Better safe than sorry!
About a month ago there was a woman standing by the mall entrance passing out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other women.
The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and discovered that she had a flat. She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat.
A nice man dressed in business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and said, "I noticed you're changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care of it for you?"
The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off. The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car.
She was a little surprised and she asked him why his car was on other side. He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn't seen for some time and they had a bite to eat and visited for a while; he got turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was running late and his car was clear around on the other side of the mall.
The woman hated to tell him "no" because he had just rescued her from having to change her flat tire all by herself, but she felt uneasy. Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.
She told him that she'd be happy to drive him around to his car, but she just remembered one last thing she needed to buy. She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be.
She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened; the guard came out to her car with her, but the man had left. They opened the trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station.
The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to the man). What they found was rope, duct tape, and knives. When the police checked her "flat" tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply been let out.
It was obvious what the man's intention was, and obvious that he had carefully thought it out in advance. The woman was blessed to have escaped harm. How much worse it would have been if she had children with her and had them wait in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped into a car seat. Or if she'd gone against her judgment and given him a lift.
I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it on to them, as well. Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it....better safe than sorry.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND NOT SORRY! JUST A WARNING TO ALWAYS BE ALERT AND USE YOUR HEAD!!!
Pass this along to every woman you have access to. Never let your guard down.
SOMETIMES, THAT FEELING IN YOUR GUT IS TH E VOICE OF GOD."
The part about the incident at Tuttle Mall in Columbus is pure urban legend. Tuttle representative deny that any such events have ever been reported. Some versions of the letter list other malls as the supposed location of the near-crime, but none of them check out either. The newer version is most likely the result of the flier woman believing what she read and trying to spread the word. Unfortunately, the author of the chain thought that the news would be more believable if it happened to the person who was sharing the information.
In classic urban legend style, these chains appeal to a common fear, tell of a tragedy that was narrowly avoided only by the lady's alertness and good judgment, and imply the crime is much more common than it is. Stories about a near-tragic encounter to illustrate the dangers a woman faces when she is alone have been around for centuries and set in a variety of locations.
Recently, we've seen stories about women getting their ankles slashed in parking lots, terrorized by would-be carjackers, knocked out with ether disguised as perfume or stripped naked and robbed. Now, homicidal maniacs disguised as well-dressed good samaritans want to tie you up and carve you like a turkey? Note that in each of these accounts, no crime is committed - the would-be victim always avoids disaster through "quick thinking," another trait of an urban legend.
Warnings like these are worthless. They only foster fear and paranoia, which may lead you to mistrust the wrong person. Furthermore, they may put the wrong ideas in the wrong heads, thus causing the crime they are warning about. Break this chain!
References: About.com (1), About.com (2), Snopes.com