The FBI has issued a public service announcement to make Americans aware of a new abduction “trend.” Since the beginning of COVID-19, many child abductors have begun using rideshare services to facilitate their abductions due to the “lower likelihood of detection and ease of facilitation.” While abductors have of course had other modes of transportation, Fox News mentioned that the FBI stated, the privacy ride-shares provide to criminals helps to lower the chance of a potential witness identification while also providing direct transportation and access to victims.
The FBI has pointed out a few examples of incidents involving the trend.
One where a 16-year-old Texas teen requested a ride on Uber only to end up 31 miles away from his destination. He had been offered a drink, which he took, and he woke up in an unfamiliar place. Luckily, he was able to escape and alert authorities.
In another instance, a 7-year-old boy was taken in Mexico City when a father asked the driver to make a stop at a flower stand. When the father exited, the driver left with the boy. The boy was however, thankfully, recovered after he was able to call his mom from inside the car.
While Uber and Lyft have banned people under the age of 18 from having their own accounts or riding without a guardian, some have still been able to get around the rules by using an adult’s account.
The FBI is asking anyone who sees suspicious behavior to report it to local authorities immediately, especially as teens and young children are less likely to be assertive in situations they might feel uncomfortable in.
Read more on Fox News.