Ladies, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it's that retail shopping just isn't what it used to be. And I’m not referring to the lack of selection in stores and the high cost associated with buying a simple T-shirt. I’m talking about our safety. Just the other day, I received a call from my younger sister who explained how she had to be walked out of her local Target store by staff because a creepy man had been following her for over an hour (gross!).
Aside from having to worry about being followed, finding potentially hazardous napkins stuffed in our car doors, or being targeted for sex trafficking, we now have another threat on our hands. TikTok user Mary Ashlee (@maryashlee1) says she almost fell victim to what she initially thought was a sex trafficking trap but instead, was likely another common parking lot scam. Find out more about her experience here.
TJ Maxx shopper noticed a random woman standing behind her vehicle who refused to move.
In a now-viral TikTok video, Mary Ashlee begins by detailing what started out as a normal trip to her local TJ Maxx. After arriving at the store and parking in the first spot closest to the entrance, she goes in, handles her return, and comes back to her car. At this point, all is well.
Mary Ashlee then puts her vehicle in reverse and checks her backup camera to ensure the coast is clear — which it was. What happens next is disturbing though.
But, “not even 0.5 seconds into backing up, I see something out of the corner of my backup camera,” Mary Ashlee says. On the very edge of the screen, “it was a freaking lady that stood so close to my car that my car censors weren’t even picking her up.”
Mary adds that she has “a very nice backup camera so I can see everything behind me.” She jokingly admitted that “once you hit one too many parked cars, you make sure you always look.” It seems Mary Ashlee was doing her due diligence in making sure no pedestrians were behind her vehicle before backing up.
Mary Ashlee goes on to say that the woman just stood behind her car, smoking a cigarette. The TJ Maxx shopper then says that after patiently waiting for the woman to move, she honks her horn three or four times. At this point, Mary Ashlee was concerned that she was the target of a sex trafficking trap.
Thankfully, the woman walks away. Still sitting in her parking space, Mary Ashlee watches the woman walk over to a man standing outside of his truck. The whole situation was definitely unnerving.
“Whatever she was doing I don't think it was innocent because she was in the blind spot of my camera and wasn't moving even after I honked at her,” Mary professed.
After arriving back to work from her frightening shopping trip, Mary Ashlee explains to her boss what had happened. He then proceeds to explain that he thinks she was the target of another type of scam.
If you notice someone standing extremely close to the back of your vehicle, beware.
Our world has become riddled with scams, and the type Mary Ashlee nearly fell for could happen to anyone one of us. According to Mary Ashlee’s boss, the woman may have been standing in the place where she was so she could intentionally get hit when Mary backed up. As for the random dude hanging out by his car? Well, he was likely going to act as her “witness.”
You see, because Mary Ashlee had parked so close to the entrance of TJ Maxx, plenty of people would have seen the accident take place. The woman would have then filed an insurance claim through Mary Ashlee’s insurer and potentially collected a hefty payout. While some commenters suggested backing into a space next time, another wrote, “This happened to me once. It’s like an insurance fraud thing.”
So, ladies, let this be a warning to you all. Not only do you need to be extremely observant both during and after a shopping trip, but you also need to check your backup cameras closely (and your rear-view mirror) to ensure some greedy person isn’t trying to pull one over on you.