Collective Liberty Analysts received a request this morning to assist with analytical support on this case from one of our partner law enforcement agencies. We were able to utilize partner data, paired with our own data to assist with determining this is a hoax. It is SEO marketing gone wrong, probably because it used automated algorithms.After collaboration with our analysts, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office released the following regarding their findings.
***Human Trafficking SCAM***We are receiving tips regarding a fictitious human trafficking operation, allegedly involving the company “Wayfair”. The person posting to Facebook alleges if you follow these directions you can purchase children through Russian organizations. Given the nature of the allegations, we immediately attempted to check the validity of this complaint, which showed it to be false. Further the author has included photographs of missing children from press releases, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We were able to leverage our technology based partner data to search any identifiable facial recognition that could indicate these missing children are victims of human trafficking. Again, this showed no identifiable leads. While this post appears to be a hoax, we do want to take the time to remind parents to please stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your children from these crimes. Please know who they are in communication with on social media, and have open dialogue with them.
Additional Context: This is a case of SEO (search-engine optimization) marketing gone wrong, probably because it used automated algorithms. The prices are set astronomically high so that the item is never sold and is always in stock – which helps their items and store appear in searches. Likely they used algorithms to pick names for the items based on what is getting internet traffic also to boost their SEO. Thus – super expensive cabinets named after people who are (1) in the news and (2) being discussed across social. It hits all the algorithms to drive traffic to their store and site.