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Pinoy victims of crypto scams ignore warnings

Norman Tansingco

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco lamented that despite several warnings, Filipino victims of crypto scam hubs continue to attempt to depart to work illegally.

He cited a case involving four Filipina workers who were intercepted last August 18 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 after attempting to depart for Cambodia on board a Philippine Airlines aircraft.

The four women, all in their mid 20s and early 30s, initially claimed to be co-workers in a local pharmaceutical company and are traveling to Cambodia for a vacation.

However, upon secondary inspection, officers noted several inconsistencies in their statements.

They later admitted to be employed as work from home customer service representatives (CSR) of an online casino company.

“The victims admitted that their local employer arranged their trip to Cambodia for them to work as CSRs, with a monthly salary of 900 USD with free food and accommodation. This is a common modus of crypto scam hubs recruiting Filipinos to work abroad,” he added.

Tansingco said that repatriated Filipinos reported undergoing physical and psychological torture after being forced to work as scammers and not receiving the promised renumeration.

Tansingco also mentioned that the existence of crypto scam hubs was raised by other ASEAN countries during their last meeting in Thailand.

“We reiterate previous warnings for Filipinos not to fall prey to such offers.,” The IACAT (inter-agency council against trafficking) is very active in the prosecution of traffickers and illegal recruiters, hence they should be warned not to continue their illicit activities,” Tansingco said.

The victims were referred to the IACAT for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters, he added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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