Human traffickers have become adept at using internet platforms, including social media channels, online marketplace sites, and free-standing webpages to recruit victims and attract clients.

Traffickers either actively ‘hunt’ those who they deem as vulnerable to falling victim to trafficking, or passively ‘fish’ for potential victims by posting advertisements and waiting for potential victims to respond.

Below, find some tips to protect yourself and your loved ones against human trafficking:

  1. Set strict privacy settings
    If your social media accounts are public, then anyone can see your photos, posts, and other information. Traffickers have used this information to reach out to and recruit victims. Consider setting your accounts to ‘private’ and turn off location sharing on posts.
  2. Beware of strange friend requests
    Only accept friend or follow requests from people you know, even if you have friends in common. Traffickers have reached out to strangers to ‘chat’ via social media and then slowly work to build trust with the potential victim.
  3. Don’t overshare
    Remember that everything you put online – photos, texts, etc. – is in the public domain. You no longer have total control over how it is being seen or shared. Traffickers have used people’s photos and personal details to help them blackmail, contact, groom, or otherwise recruit and monitor victims. Never share personal information, such as your phone number, address, or live location online.

4. Beware of advertisements that seem too good to be true
Traffickers often use catchy language in job advertisements online, promising high wages for simple work or a chance to become a model. Traffickers will often be vague about the company’s credentials, details, or your terms of employment. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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