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Article

American Express, Visa & MasterCard prevent their cards from being used to pay for sex ads on classified advertising website

“Making Life Harder for Pimps“, 6 Aug 2015

…Pimps can no longer easily use American Express, Visa or MasterCard to pay for prostitution ads in which they sell 15-year-old girls as if they were pizzas…Human trafficking is one of the most insidious human rights abuses in the United States — some 100,000 minors are trafficked into the sex trade each year in America…A website called Backpage.com has for years dominated the sex trade advertising business…allowed to operate because of a loophole in the Communications Decency Act…Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Ill., wrote tough letters to Visa and MasterCard, calling on them to stop allowing their cards to pay for sex ads on Backpage. Both companies effectively agreed… American Express in April stopped working with Backpage for adult ads, so as of the beginning of July pimps had no easy way to pay for advertisements…“When on Backpage, I was advertised in the same way as a car or a phone, but with even less value than a bike,” one girl…said [adding that] she was advertised at the age of 15 and 16 and raped 1,000 times as a result…