Red Flags for Forced Sexual Labour
The financial sector plays an important role in combatting forced sexual servitude by helping to identify the roles and activities of the criminals involved.
Coordinator/Ally Red Flags
A coordinator is the central figure who forces victims into sexual servitude. Trusted allies assist with the logistics of controlling numerous victims.
Financial indicators displayed by coordinators may include:
- cash withdrawals from coordinators’ accounts to pay workers;
- lack of business-related expenses and transactions present in coordinators’ accounts;
- payments to multiple online merchants or classified sites, which can be as high as $10,000 per month;
- regular payments to hotels or short-term accommodation providers, that total over $2,000 per month;
- receiving frequent third-party ATM cash deposits from multiple locations in Australia, usually amounts of between $200 and $800 per transaction;
- receiving domestic transfers predominantly from third party males, as payment for sexual services. Payments may range between approximately $100 and $800 per transaction, with an average of $250.
Payment patterns that indicate the running of an illegal sex work business include:
- luxury spending habits and gambling activity;
- purchases that are inconsistent with the customer profile, such as clothing, make-up, beauty products and services, and lingerie;
- regular domestic transfers from the same third party;
- regular domestic transfers predominantly to third party females, likely to be workers potentially providing sexual services;
- high volumes of payments to rideshare companies (in excess of 15 transactions per month) to transport sex workers;
- frequent payments for pre-paid mobile phone top-ups. These payments can range from daily payments to a few payments a week;
- regular and large food or takeaway transactions indicative of provisions for multiple people.
Victim Red Flags
Financial indicators displayed by victims may include:
- receiving credit transfers from websites;
- receiving varying amounts but generally ranging from $1 to $200, with payment descriptions
relating to the name of the site;
- transferring these credits to a common third party who also receives payments from the site.
Payment Patterns and Methods
Victims’ payment patterns and methods may include but are not limited to:
- making cash deposits into personal and business accounts linked to brothels or sexual services;
- receiving domestic transfers from the same third party with minimal or no payment references;
- receiving multiple domestic transfers from one person with payment descriptions of ‘bills’, ‘rent’ and ‘house money’;
- cash deposits or unusual account activity with links to employment advertisements targeting overseas students;
- small domestic transfers to the coordinator; workers may reference their name in the payment details but may also leave it blank;
- receiving multiple third party credits or cash deposits and then transferring the majority of these funds to a single individual or business (such as a massage parlour or sex on premises business).