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  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , exotic aninmals, Houston, , wild animals   

    Exotic animals being trafficked online in Houston 

    Exotic animals being  trafficked online in Houston

    At Geebo, we’ve never been shy about our policy of not accepting ads for pets. Whether it’s because of puppy mills, pet adoption scams, or animal abuse, we feel that it’s detrimental to animals and our customers to accept these kinds of ads. Meanwhile, some of our competitors, like craigslist, ban the sale of animals but do not enforce it. As we’re about to find out, it’s more than just cats and dogs being traded online but also larger animals that aren’t traditionally kept at home. One of those places that seem to be having a problem with this type of animal trade is Houston, Texas.

    Recently, a caged tiger was found in an abandoned Houston home. Possessing this kind of wildlife is illegal in Houston but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to sell these animals online. Police in Houston also arrested a man who was allegedly selling a bobcat on craigslist for $1000. The tiger is now at a wildlife sanctuary while the bobcat will more than likely be released back into the wild. These two cases are not outliers as Houston seems to have a history of people keeping wild animals domestically.

    We realize that some people will see this and believe that keeping a large exotic or wild animal in the home is no big deal, however, the ASPCA vehemently disagrees. according to their Position Statements on Exotic Animals as Pets not only can these animals lash out at their caretakers but can also spread diseases to humans. Even if the animal seems domesticated, it’s still cruel to take an animal out of its habitat just so someone can take selfies with it.

    Another problem with people keeping exotic animals is that the crimes are usually only a misdemeanor. If they can afford to shell out money for a tiger cub then they can probably afford the money for any misdemeanor fine levied against them and the cycle continues.

    Police rely mostly on citizen reports to find these animals and rescue them from these dangerous situations. So if you see an exotic but illegal animal being held captive please contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 10:21 am on March 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Houston, , , Motel 6   

    Facebook sued by human trafficking victim 

    Facebook sued by human trafficking victim

    Social media has long been a tool that human traffickers use to approach their victims. Even going back to the days of MySpace pimps and traffickers would use social media to groom underage victims to come to work for them. These predators look for any vulnerability in their victims to exploit to get their victims to believe in working for the pimps. Most pimps offer a lifestyle of money and luxury while others promise them a better life than what the victims parents are currently providing. So, the question that needs to be asked is should social media platforms be held responsible for the messages sent between traffickers and their underage victims?

    An attorney in Houston thinks the answer to that question is yes. She is suing Facebook on behalf of Jane Doe #19 claiming that Facebook allowed the traffickers to message the then 12-year-old girl for six months before convincing the girl to meet them at a local Motel 6. She was then put up for sale on Backpage where she, unfortunately, was forced to meet with multiple johns. In response to this suit, Facebook released the following statement…

    “Human trafficking is abhorrent and is not allowed on Facebook. We use technology to thwart this kind of abuse and we encourage people to use the reporting links found across our site so that our team of experts can review the content swiftly. Facebook also works closely with anti-trafficking organizations and other technology companies, and we report all apparent instances of child sexual exploitation to NCMEC.”

    Backpage and Motel 6 have also been named in the suit and on those instances, we think the suit has merit. Backpage for the obvious reasons and Motel 6 because they allegedly told the girl’s parents that the victim wasn’t there. However, we’re not so sure that Facebook should be held responsible in this matter. For one, while we sympathize with the victim, no 12-year-old girl should be on Facebook as their terms of service state that a user must be 13-years-old to use their service. I know that sounds like splitting hairs but it’s almost guaranteed it will be brought up by Facebook’s attorneys. Secondly, Facebook, in this case, is just a form of communication. If the girl had been texted by her traffickers should the phone company be sued for allowing traffickers to text her? Then if Facebook starts to monitor messages between users there will be another backlash against Facebook over privacy issues.

    While we hope this girl is able to receive some form of justice with her suits against Backpage and Motel 6, we believe the suit against Facebook holds no merit.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Houston, , ,   

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking 

    Texas woman sues Backpage and Facebook over human trafficking

    A woman from the Houston, Texas, area, only identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit against Backpage where she was allegedly trafficked while she was underage. This should come as no surprise as former Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer had admitted to the fact that Backpage knowingly made money off of the sex trafficking of girls and women. Jane Doe is also suing two area Houston hotels which is also not unheard of as many trafficking victims believe that the hotels should do more to be aware of trafficking victims. What is really making headlines about this suit is that the victim has also filed a suit against Facebook for allegedly failing to prevent her from being approached by a pimp.

    The victim claims that she was 15 in 2012 when a pimp first approached her through Facebook. As online traffickers tend to do, the pimp consoled her after a fight with her parents. The pimp was said to be Facebook friends with a number of her real friends and promised the victim a job as a model. When the victim met the pimp she was beaten and sexually assaulted before being advertised on Backpage. The suit claims Facebook allows traffickers to “stalk, exploit, recruit, groom … and extort children into the sex trade.” Even though I’ve been a very vocal critic of Facebook, at first glance I thought the suit against Facebook may have no merit, however, the victim makes a very valid point when it comes to the social media kingpin.

    The victim claims that Facebook allowed her abuser to use a false identity that allowed him to approach the girl. For some time, Facebook has prided itself on having its users use their real names, even going as far as to ban accounts that use pseudonyms. As has been demonstrated in the past, Facebook seems to enforce their own policies rather arbitrarily and haphazardly. While I’m far from being a legal expert it seems that since banning false accounts is a well established and practiced Facebook policy, this policy may allow the suit against Facebook to proceed.

    What’s your opinion? Do you feel that Facebook should be doing more to prevent human trafficking on its platform or is this lawsuit without merit? Please leave your comment and let us know.

     
    • S. B. 5:15 pm on April 27, 2019 Permalink

      I believe we all seen this coming for a while . Just a matter of when I’m not sure if she has a tight case as fare as Facebook however , if she does I’m sure that Facebook will settle out of court and the media giant will insure a gag order is in place to insure they take know legal responsibility .

  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Houston, , ,   

    Single father taken in craigslist car con 

    Single father taken in craigslist car con

    If you try to buy a used car on craigslist, chances are you’ll run into any number of con artists. Some of the used car scams we’ve brought to your attention are ones involving phony car titles and stolen rental cars. That’s only the tip of the iceberg as used car scams can take many forms including the gift card scam as shown in the video below.

    Recently, a single father from Houston, Texas, found himself out of $3,000 that he borrowed from his sister so he could purchase a used car off of craigslist. The man met with the seller in a store parking lot and the seller just basically drive off with the man’s money. Reports say this particular scammer has allegedly performed the same scam in New Mexico and Nevada.

    Again, if you’re going to buy anything from a classifieds site we recommend meeting the seller at a local police station as they’re becoming the de facto place to meet in case of con artists. However, when it comes to cars we also recommend meeting the seller at your state’s DMV so you can go in and make sure the title is a legitimate one before buying. We also recommend using Geebo instead of craigslist as the vast majority of our car ads have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) listed in the ad. That way you can check the history of the car even before going to see it in person. Many states have an online service where you can check the VIN and there are a plethora of paid commercial options as well.

    A car is a major investment and can mean the world of difference to someone who has difficulty getting around their area. It could mean the difference between having a job or losing one. So please take the extra time in researching any used car before making such a possibly life-changing purchase.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on January 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Houston, , ,   

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit 

    Backpage facing yet another trafficking lawsuit

    In the past year or so, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Backpage, the site that tries to disguise itself as a classifieds site but makes most of its money off of sex trafficking ads. Some of these lawsuits have come from families whose daughters were killed in the sex trafficking trade. Others have come from women who were trafficked while underage on Backpage. The one thing that all these lawsuits have in common is that Backpage took money for these ads while knowing exactly what they were for.

    Most recently, Backpage is being sued by an 18-year-old woman from Houston, Texas. She says that she was 15 when she was advertised on Backpage. Her lawsuit alleges that Backpage knowingly edited ads to hide evidence of child sex trafficking. This is the basis of most of the recent lawsuits against Backpage as a Congressional investigative committee found evidence that Backpage was allegedly actively editing their ads in this manner. Due to the findings of that investigation, Backpage has settled at least one lawsuit filed against them by trafficking victims.

    Since Congress has been dragging their feet on providing any kind of real legislative protection for Backpage’s trafficking victims, maybe hitting them in their pockets for millions of dollars in settlements will finally make Backpage realize that it’s not worth it being in the business of selling people.

     
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