TOMS RIVER — A social media post making its way around town that a local shopping center parking lot is a hub for human trafficking is a hoax, according to police.

The post warns girls in the area of Toms River that the parking lot on Route 37 for the Shop Rite, Staples and Panera is "apparently becoming a spot for human traffickers to kidnap victims!!!!!" A Facebook post from the Toms River Police Department said there have not been "any official reports alerting us to any criminal activity of this nature."

"Please be aware that posting unsubstantiated rumors can rise to causing false public alarm which is a chargeable offense," the post said. "If you have been witness to something or feel in danger, call the police, do not post about it."

Reaction to the post has been mixed.

"It is really & happens everywhere," Denise Capizzi wrote. "Ppl especially females need to always be aware of their surroundings. TR worried about their image more than the publics well being."

"If this was true someone would have called the police, So far they haven't" wrote Theresa Costello Ziegnbalg. "If someone's child was in danger wouldn't they have called the police for help?"

The Toms River Police Department has not yet responded to a message seeking comment on the post.

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