The threat of kidnappers are very real and they don’t just appear on the TV or newspapers. Knowing the signs to identify a child kidnapper can really save lives. These kidnappers are very good psychologists. They master the technique in building connections with a child and manipulate the trust the child place on an them to do their biding.
Every year, thousands of children disappear all over the world. In United States alone, the number of children abducted or that go missing every day is 2160 cases. And more shockingly 80% percent of child abductions by a stranger occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home.
11 Signs to Identify a Child Kidnapper
Here at Family Digezt we have complied 11 most common kidnappers’ tricks that kidnappers use when interacting with children. Educating children and parents are the best deterrence to kidnapping cases and always on a lookout for such behavior to avoid being the victim and to prevent a kidnapping.
1. Can you help me, I lost my puppy?
How can helping someone be bad? But when an adult ask a child for help it becomes slightly strange. If you witness such a situation, it may be a warning sign because normal adult don’t ask children whom they don’t know for help! If an adult person need help, chances are they will ask another adult for help, but seldom a child.
2. I don’t know you!
Child can be mischievous sometimes and will scream or shout at public places at the most awkward times. But if a child is crying, trying to get their hand free or screaming and beyond hysterical, maybe you should come and ask if everything is alright.
You can just ask the child who is the adult person to them. If the person is a kidnapper, they will most likely run away before the child even answer because you have memorized their face.
3. Adults loitering at children’s playground…
Time to time you will see adults sitting around the benches of the playground. They can be kidnappers or simply parents of the children playing in the playground. Make eye connection with them or take a photo of such a person in a way that they will notice it. If such person is a kidnapper, this simple action can scare them away. If they are parents, they will simply say hi.
4. There are more cool stuff in my car!
Kidnappers tend to offer candy or toys to unsuspecting children. If someone is to promise to show them a cool device but only if they go to the car, chances are, this is a kidnapper. Normal adults don’t give presents to unfamiliar children or invite them to their cars. Children or even teenagers are very open and trusting so it is important to tell them not to talk to strangers or get into stranger’s car.
5. Your mother “name” is busy she asked me to help sent you home…
Some kidnappers do their homework before approaching the child. These kidnappers may know some information about a child’s family (Who their parents are or even who their aunt is). These kind of kidnappers are the most difficult to identify, even adults would believe such level of preparation, let alone children. Utilizing social media such as Facebook or Twitter, they can learn almost every information they required to gain your trust; the names of your relatives, friends or even the toys the child got for her last Christmas, where they stay and so on. Using these information, they can gain the child’s trust and present themselves as a friend of their parents. They may even say that the child’s mother or father just met with an accident and they have to visit them now. If you ever saw this type of behavior, most likely this is kidnapping.
6. Come play with me!
Kidnappers may even use other children as bait and to get to know their potential victims. Because most of the time TV shows that bad people are angry men with tonnes of facial hair wearing sunglasses, children don’t really understand what “stranger” means. Some kidnappers work in groups and can be an elderly or woman and children who seems nice and not the typical “bad guys” look. If you notice a kid is bringing another kid away from the playground. Catch up with them and ask how long have they known each other and where are they going.
7. Can you show me the way?
If a car going slowly along the street and stop right next to a kid, you should be alert. If the driver is asking a child for directions this is definitely suspicious. A normal driver will not ask a child with no connection with for directions, they will normally ask adults, or simply use GPS to direct the way.
8. Hey, I can show you around!
Who don’t like to be the cool kid in school? In the eyes of boys taking a ride on a motorbike can be the coolest thing they have done and something they can brag about in school. There are cases where kids were kidnapped after they were offered to take a ride on a motorbike. If you see such a situation, 9 out of 10 cases it is a kidnapping situation. Will you invite an unfamiliar child to take a bike ride with you?
9. You can be a star!
Envy the popular kids in school? Want to be famous and make your parents proud? Kidnappers often tell kids that they are from a modeling agency or are searching for the next top idol. Kidnappers often earn their trust with promise of fame and success. Unfortunately, this works really well with older children and young teenagers who are 10-18 years old. Real professionals don’t search their next top idol or actor/actress in playgrounds and streets; they go to schools or organize real castings through official events.
10. You have to come with me!
Research have shown that we humans tend to trust people who are in uniform more than those who are not. Some kidnappers dress themselves as police officers and ask a kid to go with them because they have dome something bad. People in uniforms look trustworthy even to adults, it is hard to stay vigilant. But real police officer will always look for a kid’s parents first. If it looks suspicious, you can ask the alleged officer to show present you his or her ID. If he or she becomes nervous, it is a warning signal. You can take a picture of the officer to either scare him away or have his face for recognition.
11. “Miss” where are we going?
What is the difference when you address someone you know and try to address someone you don’t? Yes, you call the person you know by name or how is the person related to you. But if you notice a child calling an adult person “Mister” or “Miss” the children probably don’t know that person at all and they person may probably be a kidnapper.
Do you know any other signs that can help recognize a kidnapper?