ST. PAUL, Minn. - It is a type of post that is becoming more and more familiar on social media and being shared over and over again.
A woman warns of a potential sex trafficking kidnapping attempt in a public place narrowly averted.
Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier wants to debunk this post and many others like it.
"They're probably connecting two dots that don't necessarily go together," Sheriff Serier said.
The post says two young women at McDonald's in Arden Hills were very uncomfortable after a man purchased their food for them and "appeared to be waiting for them to leave."
The post says "It is not a far reach to believe these girls were one conversation away from being drawn into trafficking."
It goes on to claim a deputy said the Target on Lexington Avenue in Shoreview is "one of the traffickers' favorite spots."
"Those rumors proved to be false. There's no direct or even indirect evidence that there was any human trafficking attempt made in that case," Sheriff Serier said.
Ramsey County deputies investigated, interviewing the women, and determined two men gave them unwanted attention.
Beth Holger, executive director of The Link, has worked with sex trafficking victims for 18 years and has never seen a case where trafficking happens this way.
"I'm not sure how this misinformation initially started, but it's definitely not accurate," Holger said. "We just do not see youth or adult victims being kidnapped from public places like a Target or Mall of America and getting kidnapped into trafficking."
Holger says trafficking victims are usually vulnerable, whether they are abuse victims, runaways or homeless, and are promised a solution to some of their problems if they are willing to perform sex acts for money.