WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 20, 2020) – Over the past several days the National Human Trafficking Hotline has received hundreds of reports that reference a series of viral posts claiming online retailer Wayfair has been involved in a complex scheme involving sex trafficking of children. While Polaris treats all calls to the Trafficking Hotline seriously, the extreme volume of these contacts has made it more difficult for the Trafficking Hotline to provide support and attention to others who are in need of help.
The Trafficking Hotline connects victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking to services and supports that allow them to get help and stay safe. The Trafficking Hotline is not a law enforcement agency but does collaborate with law enforcement as appropriate. Our role in situations like this is to provide information for potential investigation to other agencies as warranted.
All contact with the Trafficking Hotline is confidential. What we can say is that none of the reports we have received involving Wayfair contained any information beyond what has been widely shared online. Nor have any of these reports been made by someone who has a specific connection to any alleged missing children.
We deeply appreciate those members of the public who have contacted the Trafficking Hotline out of heartfelt concern. In the vast majority of situations, the people in the best position to identify trafficking are victims and survivors themselves and the people who know them. This may be friends or family members, teachers, but may also be people who have some information but are not necessarily close to the situation.
We strongly encourage everyone to learn more about what human trafficking really looks like in most situations, and about how you can help fight trafficking in your own community.
For more information or questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. People can be connected to help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, texting “BeFree” (233733), or chatting at humantraffickinghotline.org.
About Polaris: Named after the North Star, a historical symbol of freedom, Polaris works to reshape the systems that make sex and labor trafficking possible and profitable in North America. For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline and built the largest known U.S. data set on the crime. With the guidance of survivors, and working with public and private-sector partners, we use that data to understand and improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how we can prevent this abuse at the scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide robbed of the basic right to choose how they live and work. Follow Polaris on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.