Traffickers Use 3 Methods to Recruit

Traffickers use Force, Fraud, and Coercion to get people into lives of forced service and/or abuse.


This is when they give drugs to a person against the law. The goal is to impair the victim's judgment.

Traffickers use force, or a plan, to get their way. They want to frighten victims into agreeing with their demands. These abusers can cause serious physical injuries, or even kill their victims.

Traffickers might:

  • Damage property – the victim's or someone else's
  • Kidnap or imprison the victim
  • Hurt the victim's health, safety or immigration status

They could threaten the victim with:

  • Criminal charges
  • Deportation
  • Exposing a secret or fact that would be harmful to the victim, or
  • Misusing a public servant position.[i]
This is when traffickers make false and deceptive offers/promises. They may offer various types of help, work, housing, love/marriage, or a better life.[ii]

This is when traffickers make false statements or false claims about U.S. laws and consequences.

Examples include:

  • Destroying or taking your papers and legal documents. This is done to punish and gain control over the victim.[iii]
  • Using the victim. Forced prostitution, labor, or services. The victim is told they have to pay off a real or fake debt. [iv]
Commercial sex act
This is when something of value is provided in exchange for a sex act. Items of value include: money, food, clothing, drugs, shelter, protection, or other items.
This is a serious crime. It occurs when someone threatens to give your private and sensitive material to others. The threat is made if you don't provide them with sexual images, sexual favors, or money.

**Important: Unlike New York State law, the federal law's definition of sex trafficking considers minor victims as trafficking victims. This is true regardless of force, fraud, or coercion.

  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 135.35 (3) and N.Y. Penal Law § 230.34 (5)
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 135.35 and N.Y. Penal Law § 230.34 (2)
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 135.35 (2) and N.Y. Penal Law § 230.34 (3)
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 135.35 (1) and N.Y. Penal Law § 230.34 (4)