Lock your windows and doors. Someone is going to come in and snatch you in the middle of the night… or not.
Who caused the hysteria that was the 2021 human trafficking incident at Wheaton, and why?
These alleged predatory fliers speak to the hollow pockets of student debt. Including vague promises of $22 an hour with no real job description. These fliers were slipped under unsuspecting victims’ room doors, along with being hung in common spaces. Deceiving the masses into joining a human trafficking ring. Or so was thought.
A ring of Snapchat screenshots circulated in early December regarding the matter, “Some of y’all might have seen these outside your doors, I tried to grab the ones I saw – please do not contact them, sign up for anything, talk to them, etc. They’re a scam known for worse things like sex/human trafficking. Please be safe and let your friend know too” (Original sender unknown).
This post got multiple screenshots and reposts and was seen by at least 100 Wheaton students. Is someone trying to scare us? Is there truth to the lies? What implications could this bring?
The simple answer is whoever started the rumor was only trying to help. Now, could this person have done a simple google search? Perhaps. However, just because it is not human trafficking does not mean there is no reality to this situation.
Vector Marketing, the company in question, is a New York based company that sells CUTCO cutlery. The reviews surrounding Vector Marketing are largely negative, suggesting scams and violent acts. Vector Marketing unusually promotes itself. It is not unreasonable to be suspicious of a vague job asking for contact information and promising money. These rumors have seemed to pile up and twist themselves into something that it is not. Although, they do use vague and deceptive tactics targeting high-school seniors and college students. Regardless, technically speaking, they are not a scam, and they certainly are not a human trafficking ring.
There are no human traffickers at Wheaton…well at least that we know of. Although the implications of this message are much darker.
These fliers were slid under the doors of residents in dorm buildings. Buildings that you need a key card to get into. Are we allowing scammers, traffickers, and other ill-intentioned people into our dorms?
We as a student body need to be more conscientious about who we let into our buildings. If someone were to come in and pose an actual threat we would all be in danger.
Regarding the rumor, everyone should strive to be educated. It did not take much time to learn about Vector Marketing. If the person who started the spread of this misinformation had educated themselves more thoroughly, there would not be students on campus who believe that they had been victims of attempted abduction.
Human trafficking at Wheaton does not exist, but what does is a lesson on proper education and safety.