Scammers target skilled Filipinos

Filipinos are being trafficked for their English language and computer skills by scammers.

Filipinos are being targeted for trafficking and forced to work for Chinese cryptocurrency scammers because of their English language and computer skills.

According to the Philippine foreign ministry, Filipinos were seen as prized targets for crypto scam networks operating in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Eduardo de Vega, the acting undersecretary for migrant workers affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs, said efforts to repatriate Filipinos forced into the scam activities were ongoing, with more than 100 brought home since 2022.

The latest group to be brought home were four men, all in their 30s who had been trafficked into Myanmar for “less than two months” where they were held in compounds, de Vega told AFP.

According to de Vega, the men were in Dubai when they were recruited online as customer support representatives in Thailand.

On arrival in Bangkok, they were taken to the western Thai city of Mae Sot and ferried across the border into Myanmar “rebel territory”. They were then “forced to trick individuals into investing in cryptocurrency”.

Four Filipino women in their 20s, who were detained in Myanmar for illegally entering the country claiming they were tourists a few weeks ago, also returned to Manila on Monday.

The Philippine government has repeatedly warned Filipinos against bypassing official employment channels when looking for work abroad.

“We have to stop these Filipinos that get tricked”, de Vega said. “It is not true that you can arrive as a tourist and then get work. If they ask for computer experts or customer service, you will probably be asked to be a scammer.”

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Written by David Kent

David has more than a decade of sports betting and sports writing experience working with some of the biggest names in the industry. He focuses on articles covering these subjects including how crypto is transforming sportsbooks.

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