Human Traffickers Target Young People Who Are Vulnerable

June 11, 2020

CLINTON — During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, people are looking for ways to stay connected, especially teens who have been inside for the last two months. They use popular apps such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter to communicate with their friends.

But, a danger lurks in social media, said Lori Freudenberg, a community outreach director, last week.

Most people think human trafficking is when an adult abducts a person and make them into a sex slave. But traffickers are engaging with youth on social media, Freudenberg said.

Traffickers convince young people to send pictures and videos of themselves performing sexual acts, then use the photos and videos to blackmail the children into a digital version of human trafficking.

Freudenberg gives warning signs parents should look out for.

“Say your kid is gone, and they come home, and they have some new jewelry,” Freudenberg said. “Or they got a new purse, or new clothes, or tattoos [that you didn’t pay for]. All these are signs they are getting money from somewhere.”

Freudenberg said human traffickers lure young people by promising to send them money or buy them things. Often it never happens but is used to start a conversation.

To read the full story by Joshua Vinson on The Clinton Herald: Click Here

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