How NOT to Let Human Traffickers Rent Your STR PropertyApr 10, 2020
FACT: THERE ARE MORE SLAVES IN THE WORLD TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE
Slavery is alive, well, and thriving in the world today. It is thriving in the world of Human Trafficking and your Short Term Rental may be a target for the criminals of the third largest and extremely profitable of all Illegal Industries, Human Trafficking. Every 30 seconds, someone's child is taken and becomes a part of this dark and unspoken world.
The three most profitable crime industries are:
#1 - Drugs
#2 - Weapons
#3 - Human Trafficking
Why would a Human Trafficker be interested in my Short Term Rental property?
It is becoming a world of surveillance and in the crime industries, that's not a good thing. Cameras in hotels and motels are more and more common for security purposes but this makes it difficult for pop-up brothels to run their businesses across the US and the world.
Tens of thousands (that's no exaggeration and possibly an underestimation) of sex slaves are brought into towns and cities all over the United States for sporting events and festivals. Imagine, during the Superbowl and Mardi Gras, Human Traffickers transported TENS of THOUSANDS, maybe more, of people against their will into those cities and made millions of dollars forcing them to have sex with strangers.
The United States is the Number One CONSUMER of human trafficking. Our country provides the demand for the majority of the world's sex slaves - and this includes over 2 MILLION children. US Citizens are the #1 Consumer overseas, as well.
Because these traffickers are looking to fly under the radar, they are using Short Term Rentals, like yours, through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO to run their illegal activities. No cameras, short stays, not a lot of questions - exactly what they need.
Can you spot a Drug Dealer or a Human Trafficker?
Not really, they can be and look like anyone and even be women. There's really no way to tell for certain who these people are.
What can I do to prevent them from using my STR? How can I spot them?
- Many times, they are from the same city or around the same location as the STR that they are renting.
- They may have many reviews from STRs in the same location.
- They make LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS. Always a RED FLAG!!
- Don’t want to answer questions.
- Traveling with Muscle.
- Lots of people entering and leaving your property.
What can we do to deter them from choosing our locations?
- Don’t accept last-minute bookings.
- Don’t accept bookings from the same area as your STR.
- Check potential guests’ reviews and where they stayed. Are they always in the same cities with several bookings close to the same time in the same location?
- Make it clear that your property has cameras OUTSIDE to record those coming and going on your property.
- Use devices that monitor sound levels inside and outside of your property, like NoiseAware and Minute.
- You can join a neighborhood watch and state it clearly in your listing.
- Again, state clearly in your listing that you are committed to preventing human trafficking and other illegal activities in your neighborhood. You may even state that you allow access to local authorities without notification. Whatever it takes to let them know your property is monitored and that criminals and criminal activities are unwelcome on or around your property.
- If you think something illegal is going on, don’t say or do anything that may put you or your family in danger. Simply call the police immediately and let them handle it.
- Ask your neighbors to be your eyes and ears, too. If they see a line of people entering and exiting your property, chances are something illegal is going on.
- Don't approach the guests yourself. Call the police and let them go to the property.
What if I'm wrong?
Don't allow your fear of embarrassment to deter you from making that call to the police. Yes, it could just be a misunderstanding. Maybe they had food delivered from a few restaurants. However, wouldn't it be better to make an honest mistake than to ignore the signs that could potentially save a person from a lifetime of sex slavery? What if it's a child? A life is worth a moment of being embarrassed. There's no question about it.
These are the two best-known and highest-ranked noise level monitors on the market today and they are non-intrusive. They don't record your guests. They only monitor noise levels.
Noise Aware - https://noiseaware.io/
Minut - https://minut.com/
Outside cameras may seem intrusive but in this day and age, they are becoming a necessity and it is your property. You are responsible for what goes on there. Don't take that responsibility lightly.
In Episode 032 of the Short Term Rental Revenue Podcast, I talked about this in more detail. You can listen to that episode here, on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast platform.
For more information about human trafficking, please see Operation Underground Railroad. They even have a course you can take for free to help you recognize the signs of human trafficking. Two flight attendants at American Airlines have saved three girls, so far, from human trafficking after taking this quick and easy course. You can, too!! Imagine saving just one life. Wouldn't that be worth your time? It absolutely would!
If you think someone may be in danger or you may have seen something that could be human trafficking, please:
The National Human Trafficking Hotline
or Text "BeFree" to BEFREE (233733)
written by Michelle Russell
© The Prosperity Process, LLC
By crediting the author, we grant permission to use this full article or parts of the article on your own website or social media platforms. Thank you.
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