Sex trafficking hoax in Hiawatha

HIAWATHA (KSNT) — Some teenagers in Brown County have been receiving letters in the mail regarding a job opportunity for them.

But there’s one big problem. The letter could be linked to human sex-trafficking, but is it real or a hoax?

“That letter has been circulating for at least 7 or 8 years now,” says Sheriff John Merchant of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

The Vector Marketing summer work program scam linked to human trafficking has made its way back to Brown County, this time in Hiawatha.

“I had a concerned parent come in with the letter, which we really appreciate. One of my staff members’ daughter in college received one also. And approximately four other people in the community have as well,” Merchant says.

This particular letter says it’s a local business out of Saint Joseph and has a business opportunity for students. It pays $16 an hour and is looking to fill positions all across the state of Kansas. Also listing a telephone number for students to call and meet up.

“Upon further investigation through Snopes, which is an investing website, it says that it rumored but not confirmed that is has been linked to sex trafficking,” said Merchant.

The Better Business Bureau also investigated the viral hoax and has linked it to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and these letters.

Vector is a real company that sales kitchen knives, but is not linked to sex trafficking.

Although this is a hoax, the law enforcement agency is taking these letters seriously.

Sheriff Merchant says if you live in the Brown County area and receive a letter like contact the Brown County Sheriff’s Office at (785) 742-7125

If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any form of sex trafficking activity, call the toll-free National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888

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