Human Trafficking Conference Scam(s)

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UNGIFT) recently posted this article about criminal groups organizing human trafficking conferences “in order to gain sensitive information and money from participants.” UNGIFT specifically cites the World Congress on human trafficking and forced labour 2011 as one of the specious events.

After just doing a cursory Google search it seems obvious that this particular event is a scam. Searching for the World Congress on human trafficking and forced labour 2011 brings up several websites such as http://www.keepsafeofthenet.co.uk which is a forum for people to discuss current internet scams, in the first couple of results. To me this is no big deal; we all know that there are internet scams in action every minute of every day.

This particular kind of scam is more disturbing than the run-of-the mill internet scams. UNGIFTs claims that this conference was organized in order to gain sensitive information from anti-trafficking activists and that it is composed of 2 phases, 1 each in New York and Senegal, to “maximize its pool of victims.” If these claims are accurate then this is evidence of a new level of sophistication and gall among human trafficking organizations, targeting the intellectual community which is constructing their demise.  However, I have many, many questions about exactly who is organizing these bogus conferences and what their motivations are. UNGIFT says that the original scam was uncovered by UNODC’s Trafficking in Persons Unit, but I could not discover any more information about it from the UN, or any other source for that matter. I would be very interested in learning more about this, if for no other reason than to avoid falling into one of these traps myself…

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