Pimps solicit women for prostitution on social media - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Pimps solicit women for prostitution on social media

Women are being lured into prostitution by pimps contacting them through social media. (Source: WJLA/CNN) Women are being lured into prostitution by pimps contacting them through social media. (Source: WJLA/CNN)

WASHINGTON (WJLA/CNN) - It begins with a friend request and develops into a relationship gone wrong.

Women are being lured into prostitution by men using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"He sold me the biggest dream in the world. I thought he really did like me and we were going to live this fairy tale life together," said "Nina", a sex trafficking victim.

The fairy tale was short lived as Nina was forced to "catch dates" by the online acquaintance who became her pimp.

Pimps begin luring their victims simply by connecting and bragging about money.

"Pimps will look for girls who are really looking isolated," said Andrea Powell, whose organization FAIR Girls locates and rescues trafficked women. "Girls who are maybe dressed provocatively or look like they only have a few friends."

In Fairfax County, VA, a 2012 case revealed a major social media trafficking case that uncovered gang members recruiting women.

The case uncovered one defendant who sent more than 800 solicitations on Facebook messages to many women still in high school.

The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case stated social media has spurred a new class of crime that is on the rise.

"Pre-Internet if they had sent a letter to a young girl saying, 'hey you're cute, we think you should come work for us," it strikes me as impossible that approach would have ever worked," said Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. "A crime like this simply couldn't have happened 15 to 20 years ago."

Another common tool used to recruit women by pimps is to have a woman reach other to another woman.

However, the same tool used to solicit women is used to save them.

Law enforcement sources state Facebook reacts swiftly when notified of illicit activity on specific accounts.

Copyright 2013 WJLA via CNN. All rights reserved.

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