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Women urged to protect themselves from online scams

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By Abubakr Abrahams
Many South African girls are trafficked within their country and abroad for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. A recent incident involving a South African woman who was rescued from sex traffickers in Malaysia is a startling reality of the dangers of human trafficking. This particular case also highlights how syndicates might use online portals to lure vulnerable people with the false promising of employment which might seem legitimate.
Statistics have shown an incline on online human trafficking in the world and in South Africa. Prevention VS Cure project operation manager Nicole Bartels spoke to VOC to explain the dangers of online human trafficking. Recently, there has been a trend where young girls on social media are being lured under the guise of prospective modelling jobs.
Bartels spoke of an incident that has happened to a well-established model and gave five safety tips on protecting yourself from online human trafficking.
“Ask a lot of questions, as many as you can because a genuine company will be more than happy to answer your question. If you applying for a job other than a modelling job, it would be highly irregular when applying for a job they request a full body or facial photo,” she explained.
“If you receive an email that you’ve been selected for a job that you have not applied for, it is most likely a scam.”
“If applying for a job, do research on how much somebody who’d earn in that position for example, a sectary won’t earn $25000 a month without any experience”
“When applying for a job abroad, no one can do your visa for you, they can assist you but they can’t do it for you so have a look out when they say they can do your visa for you” Stated Bartels
Bartels further advised people to do further research on information when searching for jobs online. Out of 3384 online jobs websites, 1633 are scams according to the Prevention VS Cure survey.
“If you feel uneasiness, it’s properly something you have to look into. A Story that is too good to be true is properly too good to be true,” said Bartels.
According to the International Labour Organisation R1.9 trillion is generated from illegal human trafficking each year. Two-thirds of this profit is derived from sexual exploitation and the remaining third from forced labour . Bartels also said that there has been a lot of focus on awareness and advised others to spread the awareness. Making more people aware of the dangers thereof would help the risk of falling prey to human trafficking.
“We do a lot awareness in schools, university, adults basically any were we invited to.”
The Prevention VS Cure website ( is a free service to aid victims that find themselves stranded and don’t have a way out of human trafficking. VOC

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