Trafficking can take place almost anywhere and involves women and men; adults and minors; US citizens and foreign-born individuals.  By recognizing the warning signs, you may help identify a trafficking situation.  The key is, if you see something suspicious, report it!       

Law enforcement and social service resources are available 24/7.


General:

  • ​Does the person defer to a controlling male or female?
  • Does the person avoid eye contact?
  • ​Does the person appear afraid, nervous, submissive or depressed?
  • ​Is the person isolated from family and friends?
  • ​Is the person able to come and go as he or she pleases?
  • ​When asked a question, does the person have a well-rehearsed or inconsistent story?
  • ​Does the person have control of his or her identification papers, i.e. driver's license, passport, visa?


Living and working situations:

  • ​Does the person live in the same place where he or she works?
  • ​Are there multiple, unrelated people living in small quarters?
  • ​Are workers transported to and from their work as a group?
  • ​Is the person's freedom of movement restricted due to threats or physical barriers, i.e. bars on windows, locks on the outside of doors?
  • ​Can the person leave his or her job if he or she wants to?


​Physical signs:

  • Does the person show signs of physical and/or mental abuse?
  • ​Does the person show signs of malnutrition?
  • ​Are there signs of drug addiction?
  • ​Can the person tell you about their tattoo(s) and how they got them? Could a tattoo, in fact, be a trafficker's branding?


Additional warning signs for minors:

  • ​The presence of a much older "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" in the minor's life.
  • New jewelry, a new hairdo, or polished nails that the parents or guardian did not pay for.
  • Sporadic or poor school attendance.
  • Multiple hotel cards or cell phones.
  • Inappropriate clothing for a minor's age, or for the weather.



This website was supported by grant number 2016-VOCA-29295947 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Victims of federal crimes will be served.​
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