Police: Message regarding sex trafficking at Holyoke Mall is a hoax

Image: Holyoke Police Department

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Holyoke Police want the public to know a post that's circulating the internet regarding the Holyoke Mall is not true.

Holyoke Police Lt. Albert told Western Mass News the hoax message shared on social media states young girls are being stabbed with needles in the mall's bathrooms, and are taken to be used for sex trafficking.

"I feel like if people were being stabbed and taken, you'd hear about it from police, it wouldn't just be on Facebook," said Chicopee resident AJ Reome.

Although the message isn't real, some parents Western Mass News said to hear about something like that is unsettling.

"I do think you need to be really careful when you're out shopping anywhere. You need to be aware of your surroundings, looking to see if anything is out of the ordinary," said Nancy Jo Rongner.

A representative with the Holyoke Mall told Western Mass News:

"Holyoke Mall strives to provide a safe and enjoyable shopping and dining experience for all of our customers, employees and vendors.  We are grateful to the Holyoke Police Department for investigating this rumor and clarifying that it was a hoax."

Lt. Albert added the police department and the mall received the message on Tuesday, and these types of messages are something they look into on a daily basis.

"Technology, I've always told people it's great but also just terrible at the same time. It helps us immensley as people but on the other spectrum you have all this spam stuff," said AJ Reome. 

Holyoke Police said if you do think something is credible to report it to them. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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