Over 1,000 victims of human trafficking, 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 authorities and will be charged with human trafficking. This includes seven Chinese nationals, four Indonesians and one Malaysian.
Crypto scam ring busted
According to a report by local media, the victims quickly accepted job offers after the attackers lured them with free flights and accommodation. Upon arrival, however, their passports were confiscated and forced to work up to 18 hours a day, in addition to payroll deductions to interact with colleagues or take extended breaks.
An official revealed that a total of 1,090 people had been rescued after being trafficked from multiple countries and held captive to forcefully operate online scams. Workers were mostly from Asia, including Vietnam (389), China (307), 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), revealed that she has arrested at least 12 suspected ringleaders believed to be the operators of a fraudulent entity called Colorful and Leap Group Co. investigation for human trafficking. in front of the Ministry of Justice in Manila.
In a statement to the media, Sabino noted that the operators trained the workers to trick strangers into buying cryptocurrency or depositing funds into fake bank accounts after establishing fake romantic relationships. Unsuspecting individuals in the United States, Europe and Canada have been particularly targeted for scams.
“They will build the promise of a bright future together. Let’s buy a house, buy a car, invest some money or do business together.
Rampant Crypto Romance Scams
CryptoPotato reported earlier that the scammers had changed tactics in the bear market. One of them has gained notoriety: crypto-romance scams, where bad actors form romantic relationships with victims through online platforms to trick them into stealing funds through various methods.
This includes directly asking for crypto or offering some form of fraudulent investment advice or malicious links to apps and websites that can empty the victim’s cryptocurrency wallets.
In a similar case, a 60-year-old Indian woman lost almost $30,000 in a crypto investment scam after she was approached on the dating site in March.
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