As the 2018 North American Auto Show in Detroit approaches, the FBI is warning that there is a dark side to the massive event: sex trafficking. During last year’s show, the FBI says there was a 150% increase in the number of online ads advertising escorts, some of whom were victims of trafficking.
They are asking for the public’s help in being on the lookout for potential victims, saying attendees should look for these potential signs of trouble:
- Is the person disoriented or confused?
- Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
- Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
- Does the person have freedom of movement?
The Drive reports that these huge events, like the Superbowl, attract traffickers who specifically travel to the event:
A spokesperson for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department, Khalid Walls, said, “Anytime there’s a large scale, high profile event, it’s known to law enforcement that traffickers will temporarily travel to the event destinations for the specific purpose of exploiting victims. We know that happens.”
This isn’t exactly the sort of thing people think of when they’re going to an event as exciting as the North American International Auto Show. It’s a sobering thought but maybe this information will help keep us all safe at the show.
The Department of Homeland Security added that the public can report any suspicious behavior to their tips line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.