Mobile Applications: A Human Trafficker’s Greatest Advantage

Mary Ellis | September 21 | 2:45-3:45 PM | Room 2592

The evolution of technology is opening doors for human sex trafficking using an online commercial advertising environment. The internet has enabled traffickers to advertise the services of their victims via web and cell phone dating, classifieds, and commercial sex platforms. This presentation is designed to aid public safety partners in identifying the current most popular sex trafficking web sites and cell phone applications, terminology used by victims and pimps, tattoos that may be identified in sex advertisement photos, the use of the Spotlight Program, how to safely navigate sex trafficking platforms, and what to do if you identify a possible trafficking situation. Topics that will be covered in this presentation include Backpage adult services section closure and its effects on the industry, a review of the top trafficking sites (Backpage, Craigslist, Locanto, Erotic Mug Shots etc), an overview of tattoos/branding and terminology, what to do when a suspected sex trafficking advertisement or internet application is found, and open source websites that can provide information and programs that can assist in investigations.

Presentation Objectives:

·       Provide a brief overview of human trafficking

·       Discuss online and cell phone application commercial sex advertisement

·       Present examples of advertisements

·       Review the indicators of a possible trafficking victim ad

·       Discuss the terminology and symbols associated with these sites

About the Presenter