Illicit massage, health, and beauty businesses present a façade of legitimate spa services, concealing that their primary business is the sex and labor trafficking of women trapped in these businesses.
Although they appear to be single storefronts, the majority are controlled as part of larger networks – with one to three people owning several businesses at a time. Research suggests there are at least 7,000 storefronts in the U.S., and possibly far more.
Most victims of illicit massage businesses are women from the mid-thirties to late fifties from China and South Korea. In other illicit health and beauty businesses, labor trafficking survivors are typically younger females (mid-twenties and older) from Southeast Asia.