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The following is a list of red flags that may indicate someone is being trafficked. This list is not comprehensive, and does not always indicate trafficking, but taken together could serve as warning signs to concerned neighbors, friends, school officials, or community members.

Not all indicators will be present in all situations. 

  • Excess cash

  • Hotel room keys

  • Multiple cell phones

  • Appears malnourished

  • Lying about age or caught with a fake ID

  • Signs of physical abuse

  • Inconsistent information reported, including about address for parent/guardian

  • Lack of knowledge of a given community or whereabouts

  • Signs of branding (tattoos)

  • Missing school often or very tired at school

  • Inexplicable appearance of expensive gifts, clothing or other costly items

  • Avoiding eye contact and authority figures/law enforcement

  • Withdrawal or lack of interest in previous activities

REMEMBER, any minor (under 18) performing commercial sex is a victim of trafficking - regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion, or whether they identify themselves as such.


Potential signs of a trafficking victim
Additional resources

Additional Resources for learning about the signs of Trafficking. 

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