How to Spot the Signs of Human Sex Trafficking

Peyton Feldman, Writer

Peyton Feldman 

Mrs. Seltzer 

Journalism 1 

31 Jan 2020 



     Homeland Security defines human trafficking as the “use of force, fraud, or coercion to   obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act”. Since Florida has been a hotspot for human  trafficking for several years, I believe it is important for everyone to be aware of who  traffickers target and how they find their victims, so you don’t become one in the future. 

     In order to understand human trafficking more, you must look at it from the trafficker’s point  of view. Traffickers search for people who look vulnerable and weak. That’s part of the reason  why teenage girls are the most popular demographic. Teenage girls tend to lack confidence and   be very emotional making them extremely vulnerable. This makes them easy targets for predators. 

  Now since you know who traffickers tend to look for, we must be able to observe the predator  and their tacticsTraffickers tend to be male and they come from all racesbackgrounds, and  ages. Social media is the number one platform predators search for potential victims. According  to “The amount of information we freely offer to the world about ourselves makes it easier for traffickers to find their victims without ever leaving the couch”. Traffickers find their victims by using different methods but despite belief and popular movies such as the  trilogy “Taken” abduction is less common. Predators tend to lure their victims into a trap by using certain methods such as loverboy techniques, fake job advertising, cults, and lastly  abduction. 

The loverboy technique is by far the most popular. First a predator must lure their victim,  typically with goods. Traffickerwill groom and indulge their victim with gifts or by taking them out to eat. Eventually this technique will manipulate victim into believing theyre in a  romantic relationship and they are selling themselves to contribute to the relationship. Based on  the information “The victim is groomed and abused throughout the  relationship” 

Fake job ads are also a popular method. A predator may advertise a certain job position but  when a victim shows up for their “interview” all documents they brought with them are  confiscated and the victim is put through physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. 

    Cults tend to recruit victims through charismatic and attractive leaders. Cult leaders tend to  groom and abuse their victims at first by using loverboy techniques. Then they manipulate them  into changing their religious beliefs to their advantage.  

  When traffickers choose to abduct a victim, they tend to look for young runaways and  homeless people. To avoid being kidnapped be aware of your surroundings while in public  places, especially the ones listed below. 




Movie Theaters 

Public Bathrooms 

Parking Lots