If you see a wire tied to your car door handle, here’s what it means

Have you heard about the recent stories circulating online? Women are coming across random water bottles on their cars or finding strange markings outside their homes, and it’s causing concern. Viral videos suggest that these may be tactics used by kidnappers and traffickers targeting women. The code “1F” is believed to indicate “one female,” using the water bottle as bait to lure women out of their cars.

One such video shows a woman filming a car with a wire attached to the door handle in a parking lot. The caption reads, “WTF is this a joke? Someone better not get kidnapped.” To everyone’s surprise, a second vehicle with a wire wrapped around its handle is revealed. In response to these alarming videos, a man posted a TikTok video explaining that putting a zip-tie, wire, or thread on a car door is a common tactic used by those seeking to abduct women. He refers to it as “one of the oldest tricks in the book.” The wire is twisted around the handle to make it harder to remove quickly, giving thieves and kidnappers an opportunity to strike. However, it’s essential to keep things in perspective. The “wire trick” was first mentioned in a Facebook post back in 2015. Canadian police, where the post originated, confirmed that no kidnappings had occurred as a result of this tactic. Organizations fighting against human trafficking have also not recognized the “wire trick” as a trend. The director of the University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute dismissed these social media warnings as “ridiculous.” He believes they are nothing more than urban legends or scare tactics. Authorities also emphasize that traffickers primarily operate online and target individuals they know, rather than strangers.