Does posting a child’s hand while asking for a refrigerator mean the child is being trafficked?

Tonight, my editor and proofreader, Lady Gray, sent me the following from Facebook…

In case you can’t read it, the post says…

I learned something today… if you ever see a picture like this, report it to authorities. It is a human trafficking tactic. Here’s the tactic. Posting a picture of a child’s body part like their hand, on a buy sell trade site, asking for something to buy or sell, is the tactic. I’m being for real. This isn’t something I just shared. Someone shared this picture as a joke wondering why they had that picture when they need a refrigerator and someone that has been through a lot of training on the subject informed us what it means.

I don’t claim to be the world’s leading expert on online human trafficking, but I have been writing about it for the past 11 years. This is the first I’ve ever heard of such tactic. I checked sites like Snopes and Hoax Slayer, and I couldn’t find anything about this on their sites. I did a reverse image search on the picture, but nothing came up. So, I can’t say one way or another if this is true or not.

However, and this is just my opinion, it sounds like an urban legend to me. It reminds me too much of urban legends such as “Don’t flash your high beams at night or gangs will kill you”, or “My friend woke up in a bathtub full of ice and his kidneys were gone”.

Human traffickers have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, and sadly, they often don’t have to be this obtuse to sell children.

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