Signs of Human Trafficking:

Sex Trafficking:

  • Person seems overly fearful, submissive, tense, or paranoid.
  • Person is deferring to another person before giving information.
  • Person has physical injuries or branding such as name tattoos on face or chest, tattoos about money and sex, or pimp phrases.
  • Clothing is inappropriately sexual or inappropriate for weather.
  • Minor is unaccompanied at night or falters in giving an explanation of who they are with and what they are doing.
  • Identification documents are held by another.
  • Person works long or excessive hours or is always available “on demand.”
  • Overly sexual for age or situation.
  • Multiple phones or social media accounts.
  • Signs of unusual wealth without explanation—new jewelry, shoes, phones without any known form of income.
  • Person lives in a “massage” business or is not free to come and go.

Labor Trafficking:

  • Worker is not free to leave premises.
  • Worker lives at the business.
  • Worker is transported to the location by the owner or manager and all workers arrive and leave at the same time.
  • Worker has excessively long and/or unusual hours or is always available on demand.
  • Worker owes a large debt that is continually increasing and cannot be paid off.
  • Workplace has high security features such as opaque windows, bars, locks outside doors.
  • Worker seems to be deferring to another person before giving information, avoids eye contact, or isn’t allowed to speak.
  • Goods or services are priced below general market rates.
  • Someone else controls the worker’s identification documents and finances.

Human Trafficking Statistics:

  • 987 human trafficking cases were reported in Texas in 2020
  • The Office of the Attorney General of Texas reports 234,000 victims of labor trafficking and 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking in Texas at any given time
  • Traffickers can look like anyone and don’t fit one stereotype. Traffickers can be family members, peers, romantic partners, educators, employers, community leaders, and clergy.
  • Sometimes youth continue going to school, living at home, and participating in extracurricular activities – even while they are being trafficked.
  • 88% of trafficking victims say they interacted with a professional who missed the chance to identify and help them
  • At least 20% of the US national trafficking victims travel through Texas at some point

Preventing Human Trafficking:

By learning to recognize and report suspected trafficking, you can help end trafficking in Texas.

TXDOT, The Office of the Texas Governor, and the Office of the Attorney General of Texas have video and print education pieces:

Prevent Human Trafficking by the Texas Department of Transportation (

Child Sex Trafficking Team of the Office of the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott

Human Trafficking by the Office of the Texas Attorney General (

Human Trafficking Education Initiative made possible by:

West Texas National Bank logo