Ads for lucrative jobs in Asia fail to mention chance of slavery as crypto-scammer

Ads for lucrative jobs in Asia fail to mention chance of slavery as crypto-scammer

The FBI has issued a warning about fake job ads that recruit workers into forced labor operations in Southeast Asia – some of which enslave visitors and force them to participate in cryptocurrency scams.

The warning follows reports of multi-storey slave compounds housing unwilling workers in places like Cambodia, and comes eight months after The Register reported on raids by Cambodian authorities that aimed to shut down the scams.

The FBI’s advice suggests those scams are ongoing.

“Criminal actors assign debts to victims under the guise of travel fees and room and board, and use victims’ mounting debt and fear of local law enforcement as additional means to control victims. Trafficked victims are sometimes sold and transferred between compounds, further adding to their debt,” said the FBI.

Advocacy groups and media report similar tactics, with victims targeted online and promised lucrative jobs abroad with travel fees and other benefits paid.

Upon arrival in a foreign country – which may not even be the one jobseekers were told they’d visit – workers’ passports and travel documents may be confiscated, and the victim coerced to conduct scams under the threat of violence.

The scams the slaves conduct often involve “pig butchering” tactics that see perpetrators encourage victims to make investments in cryptocurrency. Once payments are made, the scammer ceases communication with the victim and their cash disappears. Pig butchering perps often use romance scams, promises of sex, or illegal gambling as lures.


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