Human Trafficking and Online Recruitment

What is love?

Whether someone sends you a snap, a DM, or you swipe right, cyberspace is where relationships are launched – and we don’t see that changing any time soon. The upside of the trend toward technology-enabled romance is vast, but there are also reasons to be concerned. Since 2015, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has identified more than 950 potential victims of sex trafficking that were recruited online. Human traffickers manipulate their victims into thinking that they are looking for a genuine relationship and then ultimately use force, fraud or coercion, to profit off of the victim.

Test your knowledge

How much do you really know about human trafficking and online platforms? Would you be able to recognize the red flags of a potential online trafficker? Should you accept that friend request? Take the quiz to find out!

Pledge to make a difference

Now that you know the tricks human traffickers use to recruit victims online, it is time to do something about it! Sign the pledge to actively commit to being aware of potential trafficking situations online, make sure you are in a healthy relationship, and share this vital information with friends and family.

Match Group Advisory Council

As the use of online dating sites continues to increase, so will opportunities for unsuspecting people to be tricked into dangerous situations by human traffickers. We are proud to announce that The Match Group, owners of the popular online dating sites Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid,, and more, have invited us to be part of their efforts to do something about it. In an effort to combat human trafficking and prevent their products from being misused, they have invited Polaris to join the Match Group Advisory Council, which is made up of leading organizations working to combat sexual violence around the world.

Learn more

If you suspect that you are in a trafficking situation you can contact the confidential National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, text “help” to 233733 (BeFree), send an email to or chat online.

If you suspect you are in a suspicious or controlling relationship and need to exit a human trafficking situation safely read our safety planning tips.

Safety planning

Online Recruitment

Read more

Surviving with Social Media

Learn more

Recruitment to Resilience

Learn more

Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.