Several videos of misinformation have gone viral, and many perpetrate the myth that traffickers have set random items as traps to target women for kidnapping.
In recent months, such sensational videos have claimed that a trafficker would target victims by leaving a rose or a toy on their windshield, and then kidnap them as the person pauses to examine it. A similarly inaccurate video last week suggested that traffickers would leave an empty car seat and (we quote the video here): “they want you to go up to that car seat and look around and they will snatch you really quick.”
This isn’t true – and misinformation like this does real harm.
Beyond damaging the credibility of the movement, Following posts like this, the National Human Trafficking Hotline often experiences an increased number of erroneous calls that tie up their phone lines and organizations waste scare time and resources refuting such claims.
Very few cases of human trafficking involve kidnapping and Love146 has never seen any of the traps described in these viral videos in our work with victims. Oftentimes, traffickers lure their victims to “voluntarily” leave their homes after grooming them and making false promises of love, care, and money.
When you see social media stories with shocking and scary information about human trafficking, pause. Take a deep breath, then fact check reputable sources and anti-trafficking organizations you trust before sharing it.