Filipinos warned anew vs call center trafficking scam
MANILA, Philippines — The case of a Filipino woman that fell victim to a call center trafficking scam abroad has prompted the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to warn the public anew about the scheme that preys on aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
In a statement on Thursday, BI said the victim was recruited by a Filipino named “Mel” and “Sam” to work for a call center in Thailand.
The victim was instructed to pose as a tourist and after her “good travel records” were reviewed, she was able to depart, it added.
“After a week in Thailand, she was reportedly fetched by a private vehicle and traveled for 12 hours until reaching Myanmar. The work was with an online betting company with Indian nationals as their target market. She was initially told that she will be compensated $1,000 to $1,500 a month, but was instead required to reach a quota of half a million Indian Rupees or roughly P330,000 in order to gain commission, which will be her main compensation,” BI said.
The victim, according to BI, was made to work 12 hours a day with no day off and was told to pay P170,000 for her release and another P28,000 to be able to cross the river from Myanmar back to Thailand.
She then sought assistance from the Philippine embassy upon reaching Bangkok, which later resulted in her repatriation on March 9.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco noted that such a trafficking scheme is nothing new, noting that several Filipinos had fallen victim to the scam in the past.
“This is literally modern-day slavery, and victims were required to pay for their release from the syndicate. We reiterate our call for Filipinos not to fall for this kind of scam, always secure work legally through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he said.
In 2022, BI said it had deferred the departure of at least 472 Filipinos who were found to have been victims of human trafficking or illegal recruitment.
BI relieves 2 personnel over alleged ties to human trafficking ring
BI: Strict inspection for travelers from countries with human trafficking cases
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.