Signs of human trafficking tactics to look out for

KBTX First News at Four(Recurring)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 7:55 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Amid heightened concern in the Bryan-College Station area, local police have dismissed numerous rumors including fears that zip-ties found on trash cans are a human trafficking tactic.

The Bryan Police Department, College Station Police Department and Texas A&M University Police Department said in a joint statement “we have looked into these reports and determined that there is no link to any criminal activity nor do they pose any credible threat.” While these rumors may be unfounded, human trafficking is a real threat to the community, and Katie Humphreys with Unbound Now Bryan College Station joined First News at Four to share what these situations might actually look like.

Unbound was founded in 2012 in Waco, and since then has expanded into a network of chapters and anti-human trafficking projects around the world.

No community is immune to human trafficking, but what makes the BCS area more susceptible is its location in what is called the Texas Triangle. This is a network of highways that connects the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Houston area and the San Antonio area.

“What we see is there’s a lot of people moving goods and people in out out of these areas. It’s because of this we see a lot of people coming in and out of our area, and trafficking does happen because of that,” explained Humphreys.

According to Humphreys the most common way that someone is recruited into sex trafficking is through a family member.

“Trafficking almost always happens with someone you have a pre-existing relationship with,” she said.

Similarly, the second most common recruitment method is a romantic partnership. There are also different vulnerabilities that might make someone more susceptible to human trafficking than other people such as economic status, learning disabilities, low self esteem and homelessness.

“Traffickers are really good at finding a vulnerability, whatever that may be,” said Humphreys.

Anyone who has experienced human trafficking or who knows someone who has can call Unbound Now’s 24/7 crisis referral line at 979-985-2430 to talk to a trained staff advocate that can respond on scene for people experiencing trafficking.

“Whether it’s a concerned citizen or a community partner, police officer, or someone themselves that is being trafficked, they can call that line, and then we can also provide long term case management to help them get out of it, because it takes a lot of support to get out of the life of human trafficking,” said Humphreys.

Unbound Now can connect survivors with more resources in the community.

Watch the full interview in the player above.