The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reiterated its warnings against a call center trafficking scam abroad , following the repatriation of a female victim who recounted her experience with the traffickers.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that a female victim was repatriated and arrived via a Philippine Airlines Flight from Bangkok at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 last March 9.
The victim told the BI that she was a former online gaming company employee in Clark, Pampanga but was recruited via Facebook by a Filipino national named ‘Mel’ and ‘Sam’ to work in a call center in Thailand.
She said that she was instructed to pose as a tourist to Thailand and after being seen with good travel records, was able to depart. 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 $1000 to $1500 a month, but was instead required to reach a quota of half a million Indian Rupees or roughly 330,000 Pesos, in order to gain commission which will be her main compensation.
The victim recounted that she was made to work for at least 12 hours a day, without a day off. She was required to pay P170,000 for her release and another P28,000 to cross the river back to Thailand.
Upon reaching Thailand, she was able to seek help from the Philippine embassy who assisted her repatriation back to the Philippines.
“We hear the same story again and again, that professionals are being recruited to this scam,” said Tansingco. “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 victim was assisted by officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration after arrival. (JERRY S. TAN)