Filipinos in Hawaii and American Samoa warned against call center job offers from SE Asia
Filipinos in Hawaii and American Samoa were warned by the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu to beware of taking job offers as call center agents in Southeast Asia as they might end up working as crypto scammers for criminal syndicates in the region.
The consulate’s advisory to Filipinos under its jurisdiction noted that some “Filipino victims are enticed” by these “spurious job offers.”
“Once they are recruited, the Filipino victims are issued tickets to fly to a Southeast Asian country, from which they are taken to adjacent countries and brought to remote areas,” the advisory warned. Recruits “are forced to work as online scammers engaged in cryptocurrency” and other criminal activities
The victims usually experience many forms of physical and psychological abuse, prolonged working hours under difficult work conditions, non-payment of wages and confiscation of passports and electronic devices.
Some are even held hostage and forced to pay ransom in exchange for freedom. They may also run the risk of amputation of body parts, even death. Some victims may have been sold by syndicates or forced into forms of slavery, including sexual slavery.
Recently, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) rescued a number of Filipinos from Myanmar and Cambodia who were victimized by such syndicates.