From the FFS Files: Text message scam has nothing to do with child trafficking

From the FFS Files: Text message scam has nothing to do with child trafficking

If you follow me on my personal Twitter, you’ll know that I often post stories about various scams that affect American consumers. For example, I posted this story the other day…

This was a post I wrote for my day job about how a text messaging scam that claimed you have undelivered packages is an identity theft scam. Long story short, the text has a link that takes you to a phony Amazon page and asks you to enter your payment information. That’s it. That’s all it does.

This is not a new scam but recently it affected a lot of the country at the same time. Consumer groups and law enforcement agencies all over the country issued warnings about this scam.

Of course, these days nothing can be exactly as it appears. Thanks to the record number of ignorami who believe in nonsensical conspiracy theories, everything has to have a sinister meaning behind it. That’s even if the original thing is already sinister.

So, when this story about the text messaging scam came out, the Facebook Forces decided that this scam was linked to sex trafficking.

The viral posts show photos of a text message sent out in the phishing scam, which invites the recipient to click a link in order to confirm delivery of a pending package. One post is captioned “THIS IS A SEX TRAFFICIKING TEXT”, another is accompanied by the hashtag #SaveOurChildren. 

Of course, it would have the #SaveOurChildren hashtag. If you’re not familiar with the QAnon conspiracy theory, part of the conspiracy says that the ‘Deep State’ is a Satanic cult that traffics children. The hashtag #SaveOurChildren and #SaveTheChildren have been co-opted by QAnon followers as one of their many rallying cries.

The reality is child trafficking is actually a lot less elaborate than that. In my experience writing about human and child trafficking, a lot of traffickers are people that the victim knows. Boyfriends turn out their girlfriends, husbands turn out their wives, and yes, there are even parents that turn out their children.

If the trafficker isn’t known to their victim at first, the trafficker is usually preying on someone who is in a vulnerable situation. Traffickers often target underage girls with promises of money or fame. Traffickers will roam social media looking for kids who are having problems at home. The traffickers will claim that they understand your kid and can get them a better life. For adults, traffickers will target the destitute or people with drug addictions with promises of money and drugs. Most traffickers will turn to abhorrent acts of violence if their victims don’t comply. Tragically, human trafficking is one of the most profitable crimes in the world because the ‘resources’ can be used over and over again.

That’s the hard truth about trafficking and it would be a much better world if more people cared about this human trafficking instead of some fantastical tale that would be considered too outlandish to even be a good work of fiction.

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