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South Bend Police Department
Friday August 30th, 2013 :: 02:17 p.m. EDT


The "European Book Selling Kidnappers" hoax has made it to South Bend.

An internet hoax has made it to South Bend. Variations of the rumor exist but it is based on a legitimate company that recruits foreign exchange students for summer employment selling children's books, door-to-door.

Real scenario: The student walks up to a house and asks the resident if they have any young children and if so, would they care to buy a book. If no, they ask if they know which neighbors have kids to save some time and effort. If they were selling dog treats, they would probably ask about dogs, but it's children's books so...

Internet hoax version: "Russian kidnappers posing as door-to-door salespeople are casing your neighborhood for children to abduct and steal back to Eastern Europe".

The peddlers currently in the City are indeed exchange students, however they have issued peddlers permits and are legitimate. The hoax relies on spreading the rumor and when the student finally shows up at your house it appears that the story is true. For further explanations on this and other myths, including the "gang initiation" frauds and other lies designed to scare you, go here:

South Bend Police Department
701 W Sample St
South Bend, IN 46601

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 574-235-9201

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