MORGAN COUNTY, Alabama – Law enforcement is warning of a potential human trafficking scam that has spread to northern Alabama. People receive text messages from an unknown number, which then tries to convince them to meet in person.
“Scams always lead to taking money, or things, or people,” said Mike Swafford, public information officer for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. “This appears to be linked to certain human trafficking attempts.”
The texts were reported and posted on social media by people across the country. Now those in the northern Alabama area have received them as well.
Mike Swafford is one of the last recipients of the messages.
“I got a text, just a random text – ‘Hey, is that you?’,” He said. “It wasn’t, so I flagged it as spam and it was gone.”
News 19s Lauren Harksen also received one of the messages.
Although many messages circulating on social media differ, many of them are still very similar. Many words are misspelled and have asterisks or accents on the letters.
“When you get these spam messages, scam messages, don’t respond, especially if you have kids or teens,” Swafford said. “They get into a conversation with a person and they’re good most of the time. They are compelling and can convince you to do things you don’t want to do.
Swafford reminds recipients of messages they control, not whoever is behind spam messages.
“It wasn’t involved in your life a minute ago, don’t let it be involved now,” he added.
Nowadays, it is difficult to keep track of the numbers because they can be deleted or changed quickly. Even so, if you receive similar messages, please do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement so that they are aware.
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