Warning Signs

Male 3

A victim of labor trafficking may be…

  • Not free to leave.
  • Not in control of their own identification, money, or communication devices.
  • Unpaid, paid very little or paid through tips only.
  • Work excessively long or unusual hours.
  • Owe a large debt to their employer. 
  • Recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of the work.
  • Lack general knowledge of the area.
  • Subject to unusal security measures, such as locks outside of their doors.
  • Fearful of authority figures.
  • Showing signs of restraint or abuse.
  • In possession of few or no personal items.
  • Not allowed to speak for themselves. 
  • Controlled by their employer in a variety of ways, from transportation to food and housing.
  • Lacking healthcare or not reporting injuries at work.

Questions To Ask

Do you suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking? Here are some helpful questions to consider, if you have the chance to ask.

Who Are You?

  • Do you have your ID? 
  • Are you married or do you have children?  If so, where are they? 

Who Do You Work For?

  • Do you know their name? 
  • Who pays for your tools, vehicles, bed, food? 

Do You Know Where You Are?

  • State, City, building, business? 
  • Does your family know where you are? 

How Did You Get Here?

  • What type of transportation did you take? 
  • What vehicle were you transported in? 
  • Who brought you here? 

Where Do You Live?

  • Do you live on premises? 
  • Do you pay rent? 
  • How long have you lived there? 
  • How often do you move? 
  • Do you have a key to your apartment/house? 
  • Does your employer provide the housing? 

Are You Legally Able To Work Here?

  • How old are you? 
  • Do you have a professional license? 

How Are You Paid?

  • Do you receive a paycheck that you get to keep? 
  • Are you paid only through tips? 

What Would Happen If You Left?

  • Do you have access to a phone? 
  • Do you have access to a computer? 
  • Are you able to receive mail? 
  • Is there someone who monitors your movements? 
  • Do you have a key to your home? 

Do you or someone you know need help?

Contact the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-55-TNHTH.