GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Your next hotel stay could help the fight against human trafficking.
With just a few taps of your fingers, your phone can turn into an investigative tool. A new app called TraffickCam is being used by investigators to track down human traffickers using hotel rooms for their crimes across the nation.
“It happens here more than our community is aware,” said Mallory Charette, Operation Freedom Awareness Co-Founder. “This is something that is very easy for the community to get involved in and you could save a life.”
You enter your hotel name and your room number before clicking blue camera buttons to take 4 different pictures of your hotel room. The images are put in federal state and local law enforcement databases. They match curtains carpets and artwork in online photos of trafficking victims sometimes children posed in similar rooms.
“You may not think it happens in a nice extravagant hotel room, but it does,” Charette added. “Our investigators go on there to actually find victims as well because they will be posted up, and it has definitely become huge just from the internet.”
Operation Freedom Awareness is a nonprofit organization in the upstate that educates communities on human trafficking and prevention. The Cofounder, Mallory Charette, says she believes the App with help investigators narrow their search and hold human traffickers accountable and that more lives could be saved.
“It is really important for people to be aware and if you see something. Say something,” Charette said. “The more people talk about it the more people will do it and the more people will be knowledgeable just thinking about it.”
TraffickCam was designed by an organization called exchange initiative and researchers at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri.
It is available for both Apple and Android smart phone devices. For more information, click HERE.
Operation Freedom Awareness is hosting a Gala on September 30th this year. A survivor of human trafficking will be speaking at the event at the Poinsett Club. It will be their biggest awareness event of the year. There will also be food, dancing and drinks. For more information on the nonprofit organization, click HERE.