VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Social media posts are going viral, warning women and children about a group calling themselves ‘Mother of God.’
According to the posts, which are popping up nationwide, people claiming to be with this group have been approaching women and children in shopping plazas, parking lots and malls trying to get them to join their group or come out to a meeting.
The posts indicate the group is secretly a sex/human trafficking ring, trying to lure young women and children into their trap.
After a recent post was made at a Virginia Beach Walmart, News 3 investigated the post, the claim and the legitimacy of the ‘Mother of God’ group.
Virginia Beach Police responded to our request with this statement: “This has been a viral post with no known credibility or merit. We have had investigators look into it in Virginia Beach and have found no such reports.”
We decided to ask all seven cities about the group and its validity and we got the same response each time. Many departments have had calls, but nothing of legitimacy ever came of them.
Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Chesapeake all said they have no threat of the group or even legitimate reports about the posts.
Social media researcher and Regent University professor Stephen Perry told News 3 these situations happen often; posts go viral although they have no credibility. Perry said just because a post is shared a million times, does not make it true.
Perry suggests folks fact check with reliable sources before: 1) believing a post and 2) sharing it and spreading illegitimate information.
To put this situation into a context, Perry referenced journalism. “As a journalist you get a tip and it is just that - a tip. And you go and you look for a confirmation or a way to verify through sources that these things happened,” said Perry.
For parents who are trying to look out for threats in this community, Perry suggests fact checking through news agencies or Snopes. If the threat seems real enough, you can always contact your local police department.