The socio-health emergency of COVID-19 has had a strong impact on different social, economic and structural spheres, strongly affecting the most vulnerable social strata. These factors, together with the decrease in remittances and mobility restrictions, have facilitated the further development of human trafficking networks, which in turn have taken advantage of economic and social difficulties to develop new strategies to attract victims or increase their exploitation.
During the pandemic, human trafficking networks have devised various ways to capture or exploit their victims. The study by the Global Initiative indicates, for example, that there is an increase in online criminal activities, such as the sexual exploitation of minors. Nevertheless, practices related to trafficking networks vary, from labor exploitation to forced marriages.
In the midst of the social and health chaos that the pandemic has drawn throughout the world, it can be difficult to identify the illusory offers, designed by criminals. However, it is essential to learn to recognize and report suspected cases.
To help you identify them and be wary of misleading offers, here are eight recurring characteristics and common features of fraudulent offers to bear in mind and share with family and friends.
Common features of trafficking network offers
A fraudulent offer, which hides a human trafficking network,
- It is an incredible promise of work or study, and it may look exactly like what you have been wanting for a long time.
- It offers you a very high salary for a specific job, particularly for jobs that normally have lower remuneration, for example, with respect to the salary you received when you worked as a waiter / waitress or when you looked after children.
- It offers you the opportunity to travel and to facilitate the migratory and residence processes.
- It can even offer you a free trip to see a country, so that you can take your time to make your decision to move there.
- It promises to relocate you to far away countries that you have hardly ever heard of, offering a good job, arguing that there are no professionals or people who want to perform those functions there.
- It offers unbeatable conditions; for example, it guarantees you it will cover the expenses of your accommodation, food and basic services that would help you save save money.
- It can also permeate your love life. For example, through an unexpected marriage offer or an invitation by your new partner to meet his or her relatives who live in other countries or to move to other places that offer better living conditions.
- It can be found in internet chats, Facebook and other social networks. The latter are the ideal habitat for criminals behind a trafficking network, who can easily use a false identity and contact potential victims to gain their trust and ultimately deceive them. These offers tend to be more dangerous, since criminals can access our personal information that is available on the networks and contact us by using subjects that interest us, then getting our attention and inviting us to answer them.
If you receive an offer that looks like one or some of the examples mentioned above, be wary of that.
Human trafficking is a real threat. To take care of everyone's safety and well-being, learning to recognize such illusory offers is a key step towards the crucial goal of ending human trafficking.