I spoke on a news channel about human trafficking and the Superbowl on Superbowl Sunday. You can find a link to the groundbreaking study I referred to here. That same day, a friend who works for United Airlines told me about a human trafficking situation related to the superbowl. Her friend was on a flight from Seattle to Houston on Friday morning, just two days before the game. Shortly before landing, the girl next to her leaned over and said, “Guess what I’m doing?! I am going to the Superbowl – all expenses paid.”
The girl went on to tell her the story. She was a waitress at a restaurant in Seattle. Two men ate at her table. At the end of the meal, they told her she was such a great waitress that they wanted to give her a tip by sending her “all-expenses paid” to the Superbowl. They asked for her contact information. She gave it all to them so they could get her airline tickets. They purchased her flight. They told her they were putting her up in a hotel. And they would have the superbowl tickets for her when she got to Houston. Nice guys? A dream come true? No!!!! Based on all the signs and schemes, this is more than likely a case of human trafficking.
Traffickers will often tell victims a “too-good-to-be-true” story. Yet the victims are often vulnerable or have not yet learned that if something doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t and we should listen to that! So the girl thinks she was going to the Superbowl, but chances are, she more than likely is going to be trafficked.
Thankfully, the passenger knew something didn’t sound right about the story. So she contacted the airline and made a report to the local human trafficking helpline at (713) 322-8000. Now, various organizations have been contacted who help to rescue human trafficking victims. Hopefully they will be able to get that girl to safety.
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