5 Tips to Avoid Human Trafficking


Source: 2015 University of New England

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) warns parents of the dangers that their children and teenagers may come in contact with, relating to human trafficking. It’s a common belief that traffickers kidnap people on the spot, but the case is that traffickers try to befriend a target. Taking on the persona of a person who is harmless and friendly, this lowers a person’s guard. In order to avoid getting in a human trafficking situation as best as possible, watch for some common red flags.


Be skeptical and trust your gut

Traffickers commonly look well-groomed and neighborly, and they’re equipped with methods to make you trust them. To not fall into these traps, don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to act ‘weird’ if you feel uncomfortable. Traffickers might ask for help or give you an opportunity that puts you in a situation where you are alone with them, such as asking if you want to see their dog or if you could help them with their groceries. Trust your instincts when you are approached. You are not obligated to say yes, and you have the right to say no. Using your instincts and learning how to be skeptical will help keep you safe from these dangers. Another tip is to point out what someone suspicious looks like, and point it out if you are confronted. Saying a simple, “Your blue eyes are nice” makes you become a deterrent because you know what they look like now. 


Don’t fall for social media traps  

Another common way for traffickers to prey is through social media. Social media promotions, sales, or events are tactics used to lure in an unexpecting victim. Similar to in real-life situations, traffickers can offer job opportunities, usually involving flattery, like modeling or recruitment for a sports team or highly respected job, to get you alone or vulnerable. Social media also gives the opportunity for people to stalk and find personal information that you don’t want to be publicized. Anything from Snapchats’ ´Snapmaps´, to your last name, can make you vulnerable to identity theft and human trafficking. Learn how to be safe on the internet, and keep yourself less of a target for traffickers. 


Travel in groups

Traveling together in a group will make you less susceptible to human trafficking and will be more effective if traveling with a parent or a strong looking adult as it deters a trafficker by making it take more effort. One reason why human traffickers tend to target adolescents is because of the naivety a young person has. When you travel with more people, it’s more people traffickers need to fool. Avoid traveling at night or in secluded areas where you are hard to be seen, even if you are traveling with someone else. It’s better to be in well-lit areas and in public.


Phones can be an advantage and a disadvantage

When walking anywhere, especially alone, do not look down at your phone. Be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening. Consider getting tracking apps on your phone with someone who is trusted, apps like Life 360 and Find My Friends are reliable and come in handy if you’re needed to be tracked down. By reporting suspicious behavior, like being approached, you may be keeping others safe. 


If in need or want to report something, use the National Human Trafficking number: 1 (888) 373-7888