July 16, 2021
Follow the money, find the traffickers has become a maxim in the world of human trafficking. It is vital for everyone in the community, not just financial institutions and law enforcement, to understand how human traffickers use the banking system. Traffickers launder proceeds from exploited youth and adults, force victims to open accounts, force youth with clean credit histories to apply for credit cards, entwine victims their money laundering schemes, and evade financial system safeguards. Banks need to know how to identify trafficking activity and must train their public-facing staff to be able to pick up on red flags of trafficking. Social services, child welfare professionals, anti-human trafficking advocates and all those who are contact points for vulnerable populations and people who are trafficked need to know how this abuse and exploitation occur so they can protect them.