Red Flags & Indicators

Red Flags & Indicators

Human trafficking is a clandestine crime.  Regardless of your profession or place of residence, by recognizing the signs, you can report suspicious situations and take part in combating human trafficking here in Cincinnati.

A non-exhaustive list of human trafficking indicators is outlined below.  Presence of any one of these indicators is not necessarily indicative of a human trafficking situation, but the list of red flags can be used as a guide for seeing a situation through a human trafficking lens.

If you think you are aware of a potential trafficking situation or a victim in need of services, please call the Greater Cincinnati Human Trafficking hotline at (513) 800-1863 or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (1-888-373-7888).

Human Trafficking Indicators

When connecting with an individual:

  • Appearance of bruises, burns, cuts or other visible signs of physical abuse
  • Individual appears submissive, tense, or anxious, and/or avoids eye contact
  • Individual’s demeanor changes; ex. change from outgoing to fearful, withdrawn
  • Appearance of malnourishment
  • Is not in control of his/her identification, visa, or travel documents
  • Is not in control of finances/bank account
  • Lack of awareness of his/her location; ex. the city or state he/she is located
  • Lack of personal possessions
  • Individual is under 18 years old and is engaging in commercial sex
  • Appearance of being under the control of another
  • Movement is restricted
  • Works long hours with limited or no breaks
  • Owes a large debt
  • Little or no payment is received for work or services
  • Recruited through false promises concerning nature of work
  • Tattoos, particularly of a male name or the word “”Daddy” on neck, wrist, or back

When observing a suspicious location:

  • High security measurements in work or living areas, such as security cameras, barbed wire fencing, barred windows, etc.
  • Evidence of people living at the establishment when unexpected, such as a restaurant or factory; ex. hot plates, mattresses, toiletries, clothing, etc.
  • Poor and unsanitary working conditions with a high volume of “employees”
  • Sexually explicit materials are visible; ex. pornography, undergarments, video equipment, sex toys
  • Evidence of commercial sexual activity; ex. condoms, lotion(s), Kleenex
  • Observing an unexpected stream of visitors entering a house, apartment or hotel room
  • Red light(s) on a porch may be used to indicate a brothel

To learn more about how to identify human trafficking, request a training or contact us.

Share the hotline number with others, download and print the Human Trafficking Hotline Card.

Report Human Trafficking

The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program manages a hotline to serve the greater Cincinnati area.  If you believe you have witnessed or have information pertaining to a human trafficking situation or are in contact with someone who is in need of crisis intervention, assistance, or service referrals, please contact 513-800-1863, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The hotline is confidential and tele-interpreters are available.

Operators utilize a victim-centered and empowerment model approach to respond to crisis needs, coordinate with law enforcement, or coordinate emergency case management and referrals.

If you are outside of the greater Cincinnati area and wish to report human trafficking, obtain information about how to get involved, request referrals, or need emergency assistance, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24/7. Calls are confidential and tele-interpreters are available.

For more information about The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program, click here.

If you have any questions or if you are interested in additional resources, contact us.