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Filipinos in Am Samoa and Hawaii warned of illegal call center job offers

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Honolulu, HAWAII — Filipinos in American Samoa and Hawaii are being warned against job offers to work as call center agents in Southeast Asia as this might just lead to working as crypto scammers being ran by criminal syndicates in the region.

This comes after the Philippine Embassy in Honolulu issued an advisory on Wednesday for those under its jurisdiction as it 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 embassy said, warning those recruited “are forced to work as online scammers engaged in cryptocurrency” and others.

It also said that the victims usually experience many forms of abuse, including physical and psychological abuse, prolonged working hours under difficult work conditions, non-payment of wages and confiscation of passports and devices.

Some are even held hostage, demanded to pay an exorbitant amount in exchange for freedom, and worse, amputation and death, the embassy added.

It also feared of some victims being sold by syndicates to be engaged in other 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.