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January is human trafficking awareness month

The FBI seal
Mandel Ngan
AFP via Getty Images
The FBI investigates cases of human trafficking in the US.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and it's a crime that is more common than people may realize.

FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Ray Hart said most trafficking cases are related to sex trafficking or labor trafficking. He says both adults and children can be victims, and traffickers may use different methods to attract people.

"They're able to lure their victims to them through the use of violence, manipulation, promises of money, promises of drugs, or even the promise of a romantic relationship," Hart said.

People may also be lured in with the promise of a legitimate job or told they must work to pay off immigration debts.

Hart said people can look out for signs that someone is being trafficked and may need help, including workers who are living at the same place they work and are not allowed to leave, someone who is never left alone or always has someone else speaking for them.

Anyone who suspects someone is being trafficked can call the FBI or local law enforcement to report their suspicions.

Steph Whiteside is a Digital Media News Specialist with WSIU radio in Carbondale, Ill. She previously worked as a general reporter at AJ+ and Current TV.
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