Beware of the "Kidnapping Auntie"

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“She will come close and speak to you, making you feel uncomfortable and dizzy"

I’m sure you’ve seen the warning all across social media about a kidnapping auntie. Be it Whatsapp or Facebook the message would be the same:

“Becareful this aunt, using some medicine to faint people and kidnapping their kids… Help to share…!! Last seen footage, Taman desa… The mother with two kids almost fainted…”

A picture of an old auntie/Po-po came attached with the message.

Members of the public have come forward to put an end to this message that went viral on social media alleging that an old lady was out kidnapping children in shopping complexes. As it turns out, she was only a lone senior citizen who frequented the malls and not part of a hypnotizing syndicate as foretold.

So Who Is This Kidnapping Auntie?

The friendly old lady who frequents Paradigm Mall, spends time walking around, occasionally interacting with shop owners there.

A woman named Chan said that, “Every time she comes, she would buy some cookies from a shop at the ground floor before going home using a ride-sharing app,”

Last week, a Facebook user posted two photos of the old lady in one of the malls, warning people to be wary of the hypnotiser, claiming that “she will come close and speak to you, making you feel uncomfortable and dizzy”. To strengthen the story, it also claimed that the incident happened to a friend who was with her daughter in Kuala Lumpur.

src=https://my admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/2017/01/kidnap2007 3.jpg Beware of the "Kidnapping Auntie"

credit : Krav Maga TamilNadu

To add to that, a similar voice note and message with the same pictures were also circulating on Whatsapp. This time the story had escalated to several parents having encountered the same lady with cases reported in Cheras, Taman Desa, Damansara Perdana and Paradigm Mall.

When contacted by the press, the management of De Market in Taman Desa confirmed that the senior citizen had been a regular visitor there. Others who had personal encounters with the old lady vouched that she was one with “skinny and weak legs” and was not a kidnapper.

Police neither received or heard any report regarding the matter.

credit : The Star

Are Times So Bad?

A few things come to mind now that the mess has cleared up. Are times so bad that we are always walking on thin ice with our children? Everything is potentially harmful until otherwise proven wrong. Every possible children related bad news spread like wildfire across social media.

src=https://my admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/2017/01/worried.jpg Beware of the "Kidnapping Auntie"

credit : campusnooz.com

And now, even a willow thin auntie can be framed to be a hypnotist and part of a kidnapping syndicate. Every day parents live in fear for their children.

Social Media Responsibility

With the current social media age, news of anything happening is instantaneous. Do half of us actually READ the content of an article we share? Is the news credible? Is it only hearsay? Is it truthful?

I admit shocking news are usually equipped with an equally shocking title designed to catch your eye –  “Like Wow! How could that have happened?! I should share this!” A day later, that news would have been shared a thousand times over.

src=https://my admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/2017/01/texting.jpg Beware of the "Kidnapping Auntie"

credit : todayifoundout.com

Then there’s some of us who just generally want to spread awareness. Maybe a tad too quickly. Maybe they only read the first two paragraphs then decide to retweet/share it on social media straightaway (for what ever reason under the sun) without really reading the whole thing or cross checking against credible sources.

There’s also general public who are just really concerned people, sharing as kind reminders for people to be careful.

And lastly, there are people with nothing better to do. People who fabricate nonsense or people who add on to the fabricated nonsense then make it viral. Whether it was created with malicious intent or not, it is unkind. An elderly lady has been mistakenly framed.

I know all of us are concerned parents, but as readers and social media users, we should practice very basic social media responsibilities. Each and everyone of us are accountable for everything we share on social media. Let’s learn to weed out non-credible information and let’s not be too hasty to spread the news without a second thought.