Signs of Trafficking

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PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

  • Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them.
  • Appears malnourished.
  • Branded or marked with a tattoo, such as a man’s name, symbol of money, or a barcode.
  • Dressed in a provocative manner or in the same clothes, regardless of weather or circumstance.

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POSSESSIONS

  • Has very few personal possessions.
  • Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry without explanation.
  • Doesn’t carry identification.
  • Has a number of hotel keys or key cards.
  • Has a prepaid cell phone.

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BEHAVIOR

  • Fears authority figures.
  • Claims to be an adult, though their appearance suggests adolescence.
  • Seems to move frequently from place to place.
  • Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man.
  • Has inconsistencies in their story.
  • Claims to be visiting, and can’t state what city they’re in or for how long.
  • Isn’t able to speak for themself.
  • Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.
  • Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent.
  • Seems to be withdrawn, depressed, or “checked out.”

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LACK OF CONTROL

  • Accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move.
  • Seems scripted in the way they speak.
  • Doesn’t have control over their own money.
  • Can’t come and go from place to place on their own.

Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation


*Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

Signs of Trafficking

Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims and can help save a life. 


 

Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:


 

Some indicators raise a red flag that a person may be a victim of human trafficking. Take notice in situations where a person is/has:

PHYSICAL

  • Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them.
  • Appears malnourished.
  • Branded or marked with a tattoo, such as a man’s name, symbol of money, or a barcode.
  • Dressed in a provocative manner or in the same clothes, regardless of weather or circumstance.

POSSESSIONS

  • Has very few personal possessions.
  • Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry without explanation.
  • Doesn’t carry identification.
  • Has a number of hotel keys or key cards.
  • Has a prepaid cell phone.

BEHAVIOR

  • Fears authority figures.
  • Claims to be an adult, though their appearance suggests adolescence.
  • Seems to move frequently from place to place.
  • Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man.
  • Has inconsistencies in their story.
  • Claims to be visiting, and can’t state what city they’re in or for how long.
  • Isn’t able to speak for themselves.
  • Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.
  • Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent.
  • Seems to be withdrawn, depressed, or “checked out.

LACK OF CONTROL

  • Accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move.
  • Seems scripted in the way they speak.
  • Doesn’t have control over their own money.
  • Can’t come and go from place to place on their own.

Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation


*Not all indicators listed above are present in every human trafficking situation, and the presence or absence of any of the indicators is not necessarily proof of human trafficking.

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