Law enforcement respond to concern over human trafficking in Gainesville
Recent claims of human trafficking on social media have caused a lot of concern in Gainesville.
The posts started showing up just days after a Pinellas county woman's Facebook live video went viral.
In it the woman describes what she believed was a human trafficking attempt saying “There’s human trafficking going on. There are men posted in parking lots and they are following women and they’re trying to grab them.”
The woman has since said using the term “human trafficking” to describe the incident was a mistake.
Gainesville police responded to the social media reports with its own post on Facebook saying:
“GPD does not have any reason to believe that any of these incidents have been formally reported to us and we do not have any open investigations to anything even remotely close to what has been described, and there have been no reports of any child abductions.”
The recent claims may not be directly related to human trafficking, but there are some very real signs to look out for.
" Traffickers are just really good at luring people in and spotting someone who seems kind of vulnerable."
President of Gators against human trafficking, Rachel Feldman said its more common for people to be lured into human trafficking through social media or a relationship with the trafficker.
" The more common way that human traffickers prey is just by reaching out and saying I can help you, I have a job that can make you some money. Then before you know it you're lured in and you're in a cycle that you can't escape from,” Feldman said.
GPD said they want the community to still be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to police.