LAFOURCHE PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Lafourche Parish Sheriff is putting a social media rumor to bed after residents reported a post that said a white sticker or dot on a vehicle windshield is a sign of sex trafficking.
According to Sheriff Craig Webre, the rumor suggests the sticker is used by sex traffickers to target cars and families.
Webre said there is no intelligence or evidence behind the rumor, and that the white sticker is a common practice used by car dealerships.
Webre said deputies have confirmed that area automobile dealerships in Lafourche and Terrebonne utilize service companies to photograph vehicles for their websites.
At least one company uses small, white, rectangular stickers to track which vehicles have already been photographed, according to Webre.
"We have received calls from several concerned citizens after finding a sticker on their vehicle after reading the rumor on social media," said Sheriff Webre. "The reality is the sticker or dot is inconspicuous enough that you likely haven't noticed it."
These particular stickers are weatherproof and water-resistant, which means they would likely remain on the vehicle even after several washings.
Webre said physically removing the sticker from the windshield is the only way to remove it.
Similar tactics are used by other companies who service vehicles at dealerships. Instead of a sticker, some use dabs of paint, for example.
"While we have found the source of this rumor, we are not suggesting anyone let your guard down," added Sheriff Webre. "All citizens would be wise to be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when you are with your family, and especially during the holiday shopping season ahead. We're simply informing you there is no evidence to suggest there is any truth to these rumors."