DETROIT (WWJ) – The sale of sex has shifted online as pimps use underground websites, social media and mobile apps in the illegal trade.

These findings in a new study by criminologists at Michigan State and Loyola University-Chicago where they interviewed pimps in Chicago and Atlanta.

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Michigan State School of Criminal Justice director and lead author of the study, Mary Finn, says the ads don’t directly advertise prostitution.

“They’ll hide or misrepresent the work they are doing and they will often mix their ads in with legitimate services like massage or escort – even dating,” says Finn.

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“What they are doing is connecting people who are interested in dating, in meeting each other and it’s through these kinds of connections that individuals can also provide the opportunity for the sale of sex.”

What kind of money do they make?

“They average about $75,000 a year but a third of them were in, what we call, ‘high-end’ industry and they were making at least $100,000 a year,” said Finn.

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