The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned Filipinos against call center trafficking scam abroad after reports of preying on those who wanted to work overseas.
The BI issued the warning after a female victim was victimized by this scam and repatriated from Bangkok, Thailand last March 9.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, citing the female victim, said she [victim] was a former online gaming company employee in Clark, Pampanga when she was recruited through social media by a Filipino national identified as “Mel” and “Sam” to work in a call center in Thailand.
Tansingco said the victim was instructed to pose as a tourist to Thailand and was able to depart.
He said the victim was reportedly fetched by a private vehicle after a week in Thailand 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 $1000 to $1500 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,” he said.
Tansingco said the female victim was made to work at least 12 hours a day, without a day off.
She was also required to pay P170,000 for her release and another P28,000 to cross the river back to Thailand, according to the BI commissioner.
The victim was able to seek help from the Philippine Embassy in Thailand and assisted her repatriation back to the Philippines, he said.
“We hear the same story again and again, that professionals are being recruited to this scam,” Tansingco said in a statement.
“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 added.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also assisted the victim upon arrival, Tansingco said.
The BI also earlier warned the public against unscrupulous individuals offering immigration services on social media.
He urged the public not to engage with scammers and to immediately report them to authorities. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News