Philippine Police Expose Crypto Scams, Rescue Over 1,000 Human Trafficking Victims: Report
Over 1,000 human trafficking victims who were forced to work up to 18 hours a day for cryptocurrency scams have been rescued by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The 12 suspected ringleaders have been arrested by the authorities and face charges of human trafficking. These include seven Chinese nationals, four Indonesians and one Malaysian.
Crypto scam ring busted
According to a local media report, the victims immediately accepted the job offers after the perpetrators lured them with free flights and accommodation. However, upon arrival, their passports were confiscated and they were forced to work up to 18 hours a day, in addition to deductions from pay for contact with colleagues or longer breaks.
An official revealed a total of 1,090 people have been rescued after being trafficked from multiple nations and held captive to violent online scams. The workers came mainly from Asia, including Vietnam (389), China (307), the Philippines (171), Indonesia (143), Nepal (40), Malaysia (25), Myanmar (7), Thailand (5), Taiwan (2), Hong Kong (1).
Michelle Sabino, spokeswoman for the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), announced that she has arrested at least 12 suspected ringleaders believed to be the operators of a fraudulent organization called the Colorful and Leap Group Co. All were subjected to human trafficking investigations before the Justice Department in Manila.
In a statement to the media, Sabino noted that the operators trained workers to trick strangers into buying cryptocurrency or depositing funds into fake bank accounts after forming fake romantic relationships. Mostly unsuspecting individuals in the United States, Europe, and Canada have been targeted by the scams.
“Together they will build a promise of a bright future. Let’s buy a house, buy a car, invest money or do business together.”
Rampant Crypto Romance Scam
CryptoPotato previously reported scammers had changed tactics in the bear market. One that gained notoriety was – crypto romance scam – in which bad actors create romantic relationships with victims via online platforms to trick them into stealing funds using various methods.
This includes requesting crypto directly or offering some form of deceptive investment advice or malicious links to apps and websites that can drain the victim’s cryptocurrency wallets.
In a related case, a 60-year-old Indian woman lost nearly $30,000 in a crypto investment scam after being approached on the marriage site in March.