Filipina scammed to work in call center abroad, paid ₱170,000 for release

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — A Filipina paid ₱170,000 for her release after she was scammed to work for an online betting company in Myanmar, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Wednesday.

According to the agency, the Filipina was recruited via Facebook by “Mel” and “Sam,” who introduced themselves as Filipino nationals and promised her employment in a call center in Thailand.

She was instructed to pose as a tourist and after a week in Thailand, she was fetched by a private vehicle and traveled for 12 hours heading to Myanmar, the BI added.

In Myanmar, the victim said she worked in an online betting company targeting Indian nationals.

The company initially promised her a monthly salary of $1,000 to $1,500, but was instead required to reach a quota of 500,000 rupees, or about ₱330,000, in order to gain a commission.

She was also required to work for at least 12 hours a day, without a day off.

For her release, the Filipina was compelled to pay ₱170,000. She paid another ₱28,000 to cross the river back to Thailand, where she sought the help of the Philippine Embassy.

She was repatriated and arrived in the country on March 9.

“This is literally modern-day slavery, and victims were required to pay for their release from the syndicate,” Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said in a statement.

“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.