Common Tricks

Did you know that 32 percent of attempted abductions happen when a child is going to and from school or a school-related activity?  Project Harmony urges families to educate themselves about child safety as back-to-school season is one of the most important times of the year to be informed and prepared.

Below are a few common tricks identified by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) used by child abductors.  In these scenarios, even children who know better often ignore their safety rules.  Would-be abductors rely on this.  They know that while many children are taught to avoid strangers, many are not taught how to recognize and respond to abduction tactics.  Review the tactics below with your children and practice a response.  The more children practice, the better prepared they will be in a real situation.

THE OFFER: A Child is offered something desirable-like candy, money, toys or a ride.  Children should not accept gifts without your permission.  Use teachable moments, like when a friend or relative offers a gift, to practice this concept.

THE ANIMAL TRICK: A cute or interesting animal.  Teach your children to never enter anyone's vehicle or home without your permission.

THE EMERGENCY TRICK: Someone fakes an emergency and offers to take the child to another location.  Instruct your child never to go anywhere with anyone without asking the permission of the adult in charge.

THE “BAD” CHILD TRICK: Someone accuses the child of doing something wrong and says the child must go with him/her. Teach your child to always check with you or the adult in charge before going anywhere with anyone. 

THE FRIEND TRICK: A person tells the child he/she has been sent by the child’s parent.  Sometimes the person actually does know the parent.  Talk to your child’s school about obtaining permission from you before releasing your child to anyone.