(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

In recent years, we all know that a lot of trends start on TikTok, but they’re not always good ones and a new crime trend called “jugging” is on the rise.

I feel like social media is mainly used for good, but there’s a dark side to everything and some of these trends can be downright dangerous. Remember the whole eating tide pods thing? The Sleepy Chicken Challenge? Skull Breaker Challenge? Dry Pre-Workout Challenge? All of them started on TikTok. You would think people would know better, but clearly they don’t, and these trends can really harm a lot of people.

Now there’s a new crime trend on the rise. As if all the emails, text messages and phone calls from scammers trying to get our money aren’t enough, there’s something new we have to worry about and it’s hit Florida. “Jugging” is when thieves follow people home after they make a cash withdrawal at a financial institution, and then in more secluded setting, rob them of their money. Women and the elderly seem to be the most consistent targets of these incidents, however no one can be ruled out.

“Jugging” became a problem in Austin, Texas, however with how quick trends spread online, it’s made it’s way to Alabama and Northwest Florida. I haven’t heard of this happening here in SWFL yet, but it’s not to say it won’t, so it’s good to be careful.

News3lv.com reports that over $590,000 has been stolen.

Tips on how you can avoid being a victim of the new crime trend “jugging”:

  • 1. Be aware of anyone hanging around without conducting business when you are in a bank lobby or using an ATM.

  • 2. Be aware of your surroundings while you are conducting your business. Try not to use your phone or wear headphones/earbuds.

  • 3. Lock your car doors as soon as you get in your vehicle and make sure your windows are rolled up.

  • 4. You think this would be obvious, but never leave money in your car.

  • 5. When you drive out of the parking lot of your financial institution, pay attention to anyone who may be following you.

  • 6. If you notice anyone following you for any length of time, call 911 or drive to the nearest police or fire station. 

  • 7. If you are planning to make a large cash withdrawal, speak to management to see if they can assist you while you’re leaving. 

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