Warning signs

The signs of luring and trafficking can be difficult to spot and are often overlooked by those in the best position to help.

Survivors of sex trafficking told us they didn’t always understand what was happening to them as they were being lured, groomed and later trafficked.

If you notice one or more of these signs or something just doesn’t feel right, it is worth looking into. Here are some of the ways to identify luring and trafficking.

Signs of luring and grooming

Often luring and grooming start with small shifts in appearance and behaviour. While it can be difficult to separate these changes from typical adolescent behaviour, it’s important to trust your gut if you feel someone may be at risk. Initially, traffickers work hard to lure victims so they can gain their trust and slowly try to distance them from their support systems.

If someone in your life is showing some of the following signs, take note. They may:

  • Receive lots of expensive gifts like purses, clothes, jewelry or manicures
  • Have a lot of "unexplained" cash
  • Withdraw from family and friends
  • Be involved in an all-consuming relationship with a new friend or boyfriend
  • Skip school and miss curfew
  • Be showered with love and attention
  • Show increased interest in their appearance
  • Do things out of character like drinking or drugs
  • Act secretive about activities, new friends or a boyfriend
  • Have a new or unusual tattoo
Signs of trafficking

It is important to note that victims do not need to necessarily show all these warning signs to suggest they are being lured or trafficked.