Human Trafficking Rumors

Your social media feed fills up with terrifying stories of children being snatched off the streets by traffickers, packaged in shipping crates or auctioned off online and sold to the highest bidder. Sometimes these stories are spread by well-meaning people who are truly concerned. Other times, they are being put forward by organizations and individuals with other agendas.

There is no single scenario that describes how every single victim and survivor winds up in human trafficking situations. But there are patterns we know about – tried and true ways traffickers target, lie to and manipulate them into trafficking situations. In most situations, trafficking victims – including child victims – know and trust their traffickers.

Rumor Versus Reality

Over the past almost 19 years, we have heard from thousands of victims and survivors and we have also heard countless rumors about human trafficking. Here are some of the most common ones and what we know about them. Check back here as we will continue to update as rumors spread. We’ll tell you what we know, what we don’t know, and, in some cases, what to do about what you see.

Cabal of Politicians and a Pizza Restaurant

  Read about Cabal of Politicians and a Pizza Restaurant

Hot Dogs and Pizza are Code for Traffickers

  Read about Hot Dogs and Pizza are Code for Traffickers

Trafficking Kids in Overpriced Cabinets

  Read about Trafficking Kids in Overpriced Cabinets

Trafficking on Children’s Swimwear Sites

  Read about Trafficking on Children’s Swimwear Sites

Text Messages About Unclaimed Packages

  Read about Text Messages About Unclaimed Packages

Facebook Pages with Pictures of Children

  Read about Facebook Pages with Pictures of Children

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