“Sex Traffickers Are ‘Chipping’ Their Victims!” — Except They Aren’t

At the  Second Annual Southern Indiana Human Trafficking Awareness Conference at Indiana University Southeast, the keynote speaker told the audience:

There are a few things that members of the public can look out for to spot a victim of sex trafficking…. Tracking chips are becoming more popular in sex trafficking victims, as well. They’re often found on victims’ hands between the forefinger and the thumb, as well as underneath their arms and on their necks.

This tracking thing was something I hadn’t heard before, though years ago when I interviewed the head of Brickhouse Security, he told me that while parents sometimes call and ask if they can chip their kids, he tells them no: that’s not only creepy, it’s simply not done. (And, for what it’s worth, it doesn’t even tell you where a child is. Animals are chipped for identification, not tracking, purposes.)

So I asked David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, if trafficking victims were actually being chipped. His reply:

“No.”

And while I had his attention, I also asked: “Have you heard of any children under age 10 kidnapped by strangers for sex trafficking in the U.S.?”

His answer?

“No.”

So let’s try to dial back on the latest moral panic sweeping our country. Yes, some young people — mostly teens in terrible situations — do end up in prostitution, sometimes in the thrall of a pimp. Yes, we should do all we can to prevent this…by focusing on the actual problem, not a fantasy version.

But meanwhile, no: young children are not being snatched from the aisles of Target and Ikea, or even from their front lawns, and sold into sex slavery. Nor is anyone being chipped “between the forefinger and the thumb, as well as underneath their arms and on their necks.” – L

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Not a documentary.

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44 Responses to “Sex Traffickers Are ‘Chipping’ Their Victims!” — Except They Aren’t

  1. Andrew April 28, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    “More popular” and “often”? Statistics, please. How many cases? None? One? Out of how many? (And estimates, or tips from the hysterical public, are not enough. How many actual real cases?)

  2. James Pollock April 28, 2017 at 3:13 am #

    Now let’s imagine a scenario in which the sex-traffickers did, in fact, chip their product. Let’s further imagine that we know the difference between a chip (which must be scanned by bringing a scanning tool in close proximity and geolocation via cell-phone, which does require rather more than a tiny chip, since you need a fairly substantial amount of power and an antenna to communicate with the cellular phone system. Let’s even imagine that those nasty sex-traffickers have access to a geo-location chip which can be accessed from a very far way away.

    When the police come across such an individual, and they remove the chip and keep the chip, the sex-traffickers somehow know that the trafficked person is no longer attached to the chip and don’t go show up at the police department’s safe-house to claim their trafficking victim because… ?

    Sex trafficking victims stay with their traffickers because the traffickers give them shelter, food, and drugs, and because they have no support system to get help from… the traffickers isolate them from family when they are being recruited, and of course police are as likely to arrest the victim (for drug possession and/or prostitution) as they are to help them.

  3. BL April 28, 2017 at 4:52 am #

    ‘“Have you heard of any children under age 10 kidnapped by strangers for sex trafficking in the U.S.?”

    His answer?

    “No.”’

    David Finkelhor is obviously out of touch with the mommies on Facebook.

  4. SKL April 28, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    Next time somebody gets accused of “possibly attempting to sex traffic a child in public,” he should say in his defense that he was looking the child over for signs that she may have been chipped by a sex trafficker, so he could report this to the police “for the children’s sake.”

  5. invader April 28, 2017 at 8:58 am #

    I wonder how many gullible people out there are going to take this as gospel truth, furthermore acting upon this fake knowledge. That is going to be quite the can of worms, to undo if we can even do that. Heaven help us if they start psychically assaulting people or checking them. I can also see someone feeding the hysteria, and generating the so called tell tale signs of a chip implant.

  6. Jennifer C April 28, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    It’s pretty disheartening that a supposed ‘keynote speaker’ at a conference is going around and spreading the equivalent of an urban legend.

  7. angie April 28, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    Well actually there is the tech out there to provide precise geolocation with a small wearable skin tag (http://gentag.com/geolocation/). It was developed by the US National Labs for the DOD and apparently they are offered for civilian use. No clue what they cost but I can’t imagine it would be something inexpensive right now and it’s not something that OTC at walmart. It’s like those stories about kids getting drugs in their candy bags. That stuff just isn’t cheap and no one is going to waste it on a kid.

  8. Vicki Bradley April 28, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    I don’t understand the purpose of the tracking chip. How does it help the trafficker? Is it supposed to help the trafficker find the kid if he or she escapes? Could someone explain this to me?

  9. Roger the Shrubber April 28, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    @Vicki Bradley you’re thinking too much. Can’t you just feel and internalize the fear and leave it at that? There’s a keynote speaker out there, somewhere, just trying to make a living.

  10. pentamom April 28, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Vicki, with all due deference to Roger the Shrubber’s excellent answer, yes, that’s the idea. Supposedly these chips help track kids so they can’t escape, rather like an ankle bracelet for a convict on monitored release.

    But as the article says, they just don’t work that way. Not only doesn’t it happen, it can’t.

  11. JTW April 28, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    “It’s pretty disheartening that a supposed ‘keynote speaker’ at a conference is going around and spreading the equivalent of an urban legend.”

    How do you think those urban legends start?
    Someone thinks up some scenario their company has “a fix” for, and goes out spreading the gospel and convincing gullible marks that the best, nay only way to solve “the problem” is to indeed buy that product.

  12. Vicki Bradley April 28, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    Roger the Shrubber and pentamom: Thank you both for your excellent responses to my query. It will be difficult for me to internalize all the fear and paranoia that bombards us all on an almost daily basis, but I will give it the old college try! 🙂

  13. Backroads April 28, 2017 at 11:42 am #

    Why on earth would someone make up such a stupid comment? I mean, that’s very specific.

    I’m guessing somebody said something once and the game of telephone led to the keynote speaker saying what by then he thought was common-known information.

  14. Backroads April 28, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    “”David Finkelhor is obviously out of touch with the mommies on Facebook.””

    Just because his career revolves around child-related crimes doesn’t mean he knows more about a topic than a Facebook mommy with an overly large personal bubble.

  15. Susan April 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    True, and the technology isn’t there to do so. In order to have GPS tracking you have to have a battery source. God forbid the day in the future when that is no longer the case and everyone chips everything… thx for all your great, insightful and truth seeking articles to calm all the hysteria that is used against us living free and peaceful lives of choice!

  16. LGB April 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    The fear of sex traffickers randomly snatching and microchipping small children is, like, sooooooooooooooo 2016. It went out of style along with the fear of getting raped by Syrian refugees.

    I’m getting bored and eagerly await the next trendy fear. Whatever happened to the good old days of worrying about Satanic daycare providers and getting AIDS from the dentist?

    And why do public fears come in trend waves?

  17. Christopher Byrne April 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    I read the headline and instantly thought of “Fargo.” That’s how ridiculous this is. That’s all.

  18. raafje April 28, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    I think they first take toddles and babies with “potential”, chip them, and give them back to their parents for a few years. Then they can go back when the child is a bit older and doesn’t need his/her mommy so much (and is at least toilet trained) and take the child for real. So if your child was ever out of your sight for the blink of an eye you better check they weren’t chipped (because, of course it’s a really small device that won’t leave any visible marks when inserted).

  19. Kirsten April 28, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    @angie what is they start combining the two and they put the location tracker chips *inside* children’s Halloween candy? Then they could follow the kids as they trick or treat and snatch them on their way home!

  20. pentamom April 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Actually the technology exists. Didn’t you read The Hunger Games? You can just take a device and shoot a tracker into someone’s arm.

  21. Eric S April 28, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    It’s this guy’s mentality that has gotten us to where we are today, in regards to kids and parenting. The way things are now, is relatively new compared to how it had always been for decades upon decades before the last 20 years. People just have to stop giving into paranoia, and stop listening to like minded people. The way many are today, is like the blind leading the blind.

  22. that mum April 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    Christopher Byrne, I thought the exact same thing? Woodchipper?

    now you can track you kids on their phine though… but most of your smarter youth know how to turn that feature off.

  23. Rebel mom April 28, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    I love this site so much I want to kidnap and sex traffic it! Okay, seriously though, I very much appreciate having this information so the next time my MIL (or neighbor or mom friend) starts in on this I can fight back nicely and with real facts.
    Love you Lenore!!

  24. Liz April 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    Who would want to chip their child?! I didn’t even want to chip my pets!!

  25. Betsy in Michigan April 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

    Apparently it happened once, NOT with a child, but with a woman and her evil boyfriend:
    https://www.marketplace.org/2016/03/02/health-care/health-care-takes-fight-against-trafficking

    Now, of course, mass hysteria sets in and it’s a regular common thing….

  26. Betsy in Michigan April 28, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Oh – and the chip was in her side, NOT in the other places mentioned! And I sure wish we could hear the rest of the story.

  27. Peter April 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Apparently it happened once, NOT with a child, but with a woman and her evil boyfriend

    Interesting. My question is–why?

    As has been pointed out, RFID chips aren’t really for tracking. An RFID chip will basically transmit data when it goes through a magnetic field. The idea of putting them into your pets is that a lost dog or cat can’t say, “Oh, thank you animal control! I’m Peter’s cat. He lives at 123 Waffle Street. If you could give me a lift back there, I’d really appreciate it.” Unlike a collar with the same information, you don’t really have to worry about it being removed or falling off.

    So, while she thought she was being tracked, she probably wasn’t. It’s probably something that her evil boyfriend told her. Keep in mind that it’s the magnetic field that powers the RFID chip. No magnetic field, no power, no way to transmit your location.

  28. Jason April 28, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    The mysterious “keynote speaker” doesn’t specifically mention children in the quote, nor does he mention kidnapings from Ikea. I find it odd he would be telling members of the public how to identify trafficking victims, or that members of the public would even be attending this conference.

    At any rate, why is the word of David Finkelhor worth more than the word of this unidentified speaker? They could both be made up, for all I know.

    Traffickers (not just sex traffickers) elsewhere in the world are known to operate across international borders, passing victims off between various intermediaries, just like drug traffickers. Since a person is pretty valuable, it wouldn’t surprise me that they are chipped, just as slaves throughout history have been tattooed, branded, and otherwise marked.

    This has nothing to do with snatching kids from moms’ arms in the store, but associating the two does tend to cast doubt on something that could very well be true.

  29. Derek W Logue of OnceFallen.com April 28, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

    I was looking to create a conference for bullshit artists and I think I just found my keynote speaker.

  30. donald April 29, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    I would never have thought that a university would engage in sensationalism. They didn’t say it but they hired a venue to people that did.

    “Tracking chips are becoming more popular in sex trafficking victims, as well. They’re often found on victims’ hands….”

    This would be similar to a restaurant reselling the food that the customers didn’t finish eating! The word would get out and their business would be ruined. I would think that a university that says, “Elvis has been kidnapped by UFO’s” would have repercussions on their business.

  31. pentamom April 29, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    It looks like the conference was held at a university, not necessary by the university.

    “The all-day conference was hosted by the Southern Indiana Human Trafficking Task Force and attended by around 200 people. ”

    I guess anyone can rent space to hold an event as long as they don’t overtly appear to be dangerous, criminal, or insane.

  32. Richard April 29, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    Everyone here is so out of touch. Between the Law and Order and Criminal Minds shows alone it happens several times a month.

  33. James Pollock April 29, 2017 at 6:03 pm #

    “Between Law and Order and Criminal Minds shows alone it happens several times a month.”

    Law & Order was cancelled a couple of years ago. Mr. Wolf had to put it in his new show, Chicago Med. (A multi-episode arc, early in season 2. By way of faint praise, the sex-trafficking victim is of a somewhat realistic age to be sex-trafficked).

  34. Papilio April 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    Rebelmom: “I love this site so much I want to kidnap and sex traffic it! (…) Love you Lenore!!”

    :-O I don’t know about you Lenore, but I’d feel slightly threatened…! 😛

  35. James May 1, 2017 at 11:01 am #

    “Traffickers (not just sex traffickers) elsewhere in the world are known to operate across international borders, passing victims off between various intermediaries, just like drug traffickers. Since a person is pretty valuable, it wouldn’t surprise me that they are chipped, just as slaves throughout history have been tattooed, branded, and otherwise marked.”

    The thing is, human trafficking is now illegal. When slaves were branded or tattooed, slavery was legal–you could get away with having such an obvious distinguishing mark, because the police would help you get your property back (not condoning it, just giving the views at the time). Now, if you had an obvious identifying mark, the police would hone in on it.

    It’s generally a bad idea to establish business practices that ensure the complete destruction of your business model.

    If you MUST mark a human being in some way, temporary markings (such as jewelry) that don’t raise suspicion are the way to go. A bracelet, necklace, piercing of some sort, something like that. It wouldn’t draw suspicion, it would be impossible for the police to target (because it’s variable), and it could easily be changed as the person is handed off from one intermediary to another. You could even fairly easily use a large enough charm to include a battery, allowing you to actually track the person.

    Or, you know, just make sure the person doesn’t leave. That’s pretty easy to do, it turns out.

    All of that is irrelevant, though, in the face of one overwhelming fact: there’s no evidence that this occurs. So while we can speculate about what we’d each do to get around the obvious problems with running an illegal business of this nature, such speculation is pretty much irrelevant for determining what is actually happening.

  36. C. S. P. Schofield May 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    Somebody has been reading the “Bimbo modification” stories on Erotic Mind Control sites AND TAKING THEM SERIOUSLY. That’s as insane (and credulous) as believing the ‘immoral nuns trained to satisfy the monks’ blasphemous urges’ nonsense that Henry VIII trumped up to justify the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century.

    Seriously? ‘Chipped’? Like so many pets?

    These people are brain damaged!

  37. C. S. P. Schofield May 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Pentamom said, “I guess anyone can rent space to hold an event as long as they don’t overtly appear to be dangerous, criminal, or insane.”

    And so long as the check to the venue clears.

  38. Jill May 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Circuit Court Judge Kimberly Dowling must love science fiction because that’s what her story is. How much did they pay her to be the keynote speaker? Doesn’t she care about due diligence or at least not looking like a credulous fool by repeating silly rumors?
    A little fact checking would have told her that the chip story is not true.

  39. Dingbat May 7, 2017 at 5:05 am #

    @invader

    Some already have. I check into the Pizzagate/child sex trafficking hysteria (mini Satanic Panic part 2) from time to time. It’s rather disturbing to read the comments under videos on YouTube. There are several mom’s discussing how they have not been able to sleep for 5 days because they can not stop “investigating”. This is truly terrifying. Already sleep deprived mothers do not need to be going down this road.

    Many are panicked and confused over the hyperbolic language used. That is part of what’s creating the hysteria. They don’t realize that most of the stories about busted child sex trafficking ring are not real “rings” or they its teen prostitutes. Many think the fact that the press does an initial story but then does not cover it continuously for several weeks after is a sign that it’s being covered up by the police/government.

    I am glad the media has not taken off with this as they did with the Satanic Panic/Ritual Child Sex Abuse Hysteria in the 1980s. Tbe lady we thing anyond needs is stories about chipped children with the headline, “Could it Be Your Child?” I was also relieved, for sometime, that there were no victims coming forward with crazy stories of abuse as there were during the panics

    BUT

    This has changed. There are now a few younger women on YouTube coming forward with insane stories of Satanic Ritual Abuse and trafficking horrors. They are, of course, selling sob stories and asking for money. Parents have also started holding protests in parks demanding media attention, but this seems to be a small affair so far.

  40. Dingbat May 7, 2017 at 5:09 am #

    That should be… the last thing that anybody needs.

    It’s 5 am and I’m desperately trying to keep my eyes open during the last incredibly slow hours at works

  41. Dingbat May 7, 2017 at 7:35 am #

    @James

    On that note… Did you see the recent CNN article saying trafficking victims are getting the marks of slaves because a former adult prostitute got a tattoo with her former pimps initials at some point?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2015/08/31/us/sex-trafficking-branding/index.html

    CNN has been pushing a little too much hyperbolic modern day slavery lingo for my liking since a group ask the black caucus to force the media and police to investigate the large number of missing children im DC a few months ago. Of course over 90% of the missing persons reports had been closed and cleared by that time.

    I tried to discuss that situation with several people and it still somehow amazes me that people don’t want to hear that Missing and abducted are not the same thing

  42. Dingbat May 8, 2017 at 12:26 am #

    Oh, there was also this… After all of the fuss and demands for action based on the number of missing persons reports in DV, which was brought up as an issue of Satanic Ritual Abuse and apparently a black market internal organ harvesting ring on several sites, a task force was formed.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/dc-mayor-bowser-creates-a-task-force-on-missing-children-after-a-public-outcry/2017/03/24/5af8d364-10b2-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.b8ff9ee0a242#comments

    It’s easy to tell that idiotic Tumblr/College feminists are pushing this as well because the sexual orientation of missing persons is now going to be listed along with their physical identifiers. Does your orientation really need to be put on a missing persons report? Where will they get this info because it is not part of police procedure to ask for people’s orientations, and there are laws against this in particular contexts remaining from the AIDS panic/discrimination.

    Again, it all stemmed from Pizzagaters combing websites looking at the numbers of missing persons, particularly children. Of course they think missing = abducted but known abductions are flagged as such. As most here know 90% of missing persons reports are closed within hours.

    You have some saying racist people are blowing this off because they are black. The assumption that they are just sneaking out is a racist stereotype based on the hyper sexualization of black women. That is dumbassery and complete nonsense. The same holds true with any teenager. They have been sneaking out to meet friends or girl/boy friends forever. There are teens of every race that rebel, do not listen to their parents and runaway often and then there are those with problems at home.

    I’m not sure why they think we need additional task forces to address the problems and home lives of repeat runaways. Juvenile Justice already does this. None have a clue how missing persons reports are even broken down and that people already enter info showing they are endangered/high risk for a reason. Or that the categorization of endangered/high risk does not necessarily have anything to do with abduction or trafficking. It can be mental health problems, leaving home without needed medications, etc. It’s a very detailed process.

    And as I am typing this a news segment just came on about needing to do away with internet free speech laws to stop the trafficking of children

    This is why I hate feminists.

  43. Dingbat May 8, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    I know I’m ranting away but the disciples of second wave radicals are lying, hysteria creating, rights encroaching human filth. They are worthless parasitic trash who have never done anything but pocket money while hurting people.

    Hysterical demands from clueless people in the grips of conspiracy theories do nothing to help either

    https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/4715136/dc-missing-girls-social-media/%3Fsource%3Ddam

    “Wilson, of Black and Missing, says while it’s critical that people share accurate information media, the simple fact that people are paying attention in cases of missing children is important. “ I don’t want this to be some type of fad where everyone is jumping on board and then they move on to something else,” Wilson says. “This is real. This is happening in our communities.” In 2016, around 38% of the more than 400,000 juveniles recorded as missing by the FBI were black. A recent analysis by Essence magazine found that as of February 2017, there were 8,042 active missing persons reports for black girls under 18. African Americans make up just 13% of the U.S. population.

    ^^ AS IF NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHILDREN OR “MISSING CHILDREN”. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? MISSING IS NOT ABDUCTED. AN AMBER ALERT IS ISSUED FOR ABDUCTED CHILDREN. YOU DO NOT NEED PRESS COVERAGE FOR EVERY TEEN THAT SNEAKS OUT OR HAS A FIGHT WITH THEIR PARENTS AND RUNS OFF. NOT WHEN BOTH ARE BACK IN HOURS.

    While D.C. officials found themselves working overtime to dispel myths about the volume of missing children in the community, Dickerson says social media has been a helpful tool for police as they work to solve cases of missing youths. “We have gotten assistance from hospital staff, other D.C. government employees, Uber drivers and just other community members that have helped us reunite these girls with their families quicker,” she said during a recent Facebook Live interview.”

    ^^ THIS IS A LARGE PART OF THE PROBLEM AND WAS A PROBLEM WITH THE RITUAL ABUSE TASK FORCES SET UP DURING THE PANICS. THEY IGNORED EVERYONE TELLING THEM THAT THEY WERE RUNNING ON FALSE INFORMATION, DOING NOTHING BUT CREATING HYSTERIA AND HURTING CHILDREN ALL WHILE SUCKING GOVERNMENTS DRY.

  44. Dingbat May 8, 2017 at 1:16 am #

    Last post. Do note this paragraph

    “Missing persons reports are always frightening. But the wave of disappearances in D.C. stirred a sense of anger that police had not done enough to publicize the case. At a March 22 meeting held by city officials at a charter school in southeast D.C., community members demanded answers from officers. “We can’t go nowhere by ourselves,” an unnamed woman told the crowd through tears, according to a report by the city’s WJLA. “We can’t do nothing without being worried about somebody trying to take us.”

    They should not be capitulating to this hysteria. They should be stopping it before they have some major problems on their hands.