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How do I identify human trafficking?

Human trafficking is often “hidden in plain sight.” There are a number of red flags, or indicators, which can help alert you to human trafficking. Recognizing the signs is the first step in identifying victims.

Here are some indicators to be aware of concerning a potential victim.

Physical State or Demeanor:

  • Does the victim act fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid?
  • Does the victim defer to another person to speak for him or her?
  • Does the victim show signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture?
  • Has the victim been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care, or other life necessities?
  • Does the victim have few or no personal possessions?
  • Can the victim freely contact friends or family?
  • Does the victim have no freedom of movement or social interaction?
  • Has the victim or family been threatened with harm if the victim attempts to escape?
  • Has the victim been coached in talking to officials?

Work Conditions and Travel:

  • Has the victim been forced to perform labor or sexual acts?
  • Is the victim in possession of identification and travel documents; if not, who has control of the documents?
  • Does the victim have a logical means of reaching or knowledge of his or her final destination?


  • Is the victim a juvenile (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex?
  • Is the victim a child traveler who does not seem to be accompanied by his or her real parent or guardian?

The safety of the public as well as the victim is paramount. Do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to any suspicions. It is up to law enforcement to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking.

If you suspect that a person may be the victim of Human Trafficking, please contact the Amtrak Police Department at:

800) 331-0008, or text to APD11 (27311).

Contact Us

Report crime, emergencies, suspicious items, persons or activity immediately to the Amtrak Police Department at:

(800) 331-0008

or by sending a text to APD11 from a smartphone or to 27311 from a standard cell phone (Messaging and Data rates may apply. Txt HELP for help, txt STOP to cancel), or call 911.

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