AG Kaul Shares Signs of Human Trafficking During Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Jan 11 2022

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today is reminding Wisconsinites of potential signs of human trafficking for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has a bureau dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Wisconsin through enforcement, education and training.


“DOJ’s Human Trafficking Bureau works tirelessly to combat human trafficking,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “DOJ is dedicated to bringing human traffickers to justice and to supporting survivors throughout the state.”


The Human Trafficking Bureau within DCI promotes public safety through proactive enforcement, community outreach, specialized training, and operational assistance to law enforcement to identify, target and prosecute traffickers statewide. The bureau also works with all levels of law enforcement to promote victim centered approaches for investigations and conducts demand suppression operations to target customers and deter sex buyers who create the demand that fuels the crime of human trafficking.


About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking can take the form of sex trafficking or labor trafficking and can happen to both adults and minors. If you come across a situation you believe to be human trafficking, do not intervene. Instead, document as much information as you can, and contact law enforcement immediately.  


Possible Indicators of Sex Trafficking & Recruitment


  • Any minor engaged in sex acts for anything of value
  • Individual of any age or gender appears to be watching and approaching youth, systematically trying to befriend strangers, promoting ‘modeling agencies’, traveling crew employment, talent search websites or other employment
  • Crimes (theft, drug crimes) appear to be committed under the watch and for the benefit of someone else
  • Tattoos that indicate branding of a victim by a trafficker
  • Youth in possession of motel keys/cards, lots of cash, prepaid credit cards
  • Individuals being constantly monitored, having no control over money or ID, with few or no personal items
  • Minors under the influence of drugs/alcohol in the company of adults or much older youth
  • Signs of physical abuse, fear, or malnourishment
  • Lack of knowledge of his or her whereabouts or destination, numerous inconsistencies in his or story


Possible Indicators of Labor Trafficking


  • Individuals selling items or begging
  • Signs of physical abuse, force, restraint, sleep deprivation, untreated injuries or illness
  • Groups of traveling sales or work crews sleeping in vehicles in parking lot
  • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts or destination, numerous inconsistencies in their story
  • Individuals being constantly monitored by someone, not allowed to speak for themselves, seem fearful or submissive to a person who is speaking for them
  • Individuals without their own transportation, who do not seem to be allowed to come and go on their own
  • Individuals who do not carry their own identification or money, or have few or no personal possessions
  • Mention of work conditions or wages being different than what was advertised or promised


If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 911. The National Human

Trafficking Hotline also assists victims and accepts tips 24 hours a day, 7 days a

week, at 1-888-373-7888. For help finding a local service provider, reach out to the

DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services or visit the service directories on DOJ’s human

trafficking website at


Human Trafficking Resources:


Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline for help or to report a tip 24 hours a

day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888, or text 233733.


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Reporting

1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)


For more information about human trafficking, victim services, statutes and industry specific materials, visit


Visit the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ “WI, We Need to Talk”

website for resources to promote dialogue between adults, parents and children about

youth sex trafficking at