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Over 600 ‘good looking’ victims rescued from ‘love scam’ center | #philippines | #philippinesscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Police in the Philippines raided a place and rescued many ‘good-looking’ people who were tricked by a scam themselves into scamming others under the guise of a fraudulent operation.

Among those rescued were 383 Filipinos, 202 Chinese, and 73 from other countries. The rescued individuals were lured by the scamsters with a promise to provide well-paying jobs.

The victims’ passports were also taken away from them and they were forced to operate many scams. One of them being a ‘love scam.’ 

They were told if they wouldn’t comply, then they would face violence, reported The Telegraph.

“The victims were controlled by having their passports confiscated so they were unable to leave,” said Gilberto Cruz, executive director of the crime task force that led the pre-dawn raid.

“The workers who failed to achieve their quota … were physically harmed, deprived of sleep or locked up inside their rooms.”

The scam center, located approximately 100 kilometers north of Manila, was posing to be an online gambling firm but turned out to be actually a hub for orchestrating fraudulent schemes.

‘Good looking’ people for ‘love scams’

‘Love scams,’ which are also called ‘pig butchering,’ scams involve perpetrators adopting fake identities so that they can begin a romantic relationship with their victims.

They give the victim an illusion of a deep connection and then use that connection to exploit and defraud the victim. 

People stuck in the center had to send nice messages to their victims, asking about their day and what they ate, said Winston Casio, spokesman for the Presidential Commission Against Organized Crime. 

They also had to send pictures online to make the relationship stronger before convincing victims to invest in fake schemes or businesses.

The term ‘pig butchering’ originates from the practice of fattening a pig before slaughter. Similarly, the perpetrators entice the victims to invest in money, cryptocurrency, all under the guise of a legitimate opportunity.

These scams hurt a lot of people all over the world, both financially and emotionally, causing big money problems. After taking a lot of money, the scammers vanish, leaving victims with big losses.

The police came to the place of the scam near Manila after they received a tip from a Vietnamese man who got away from the scam center. When they checked, they found signs that the man had been tortured, including electrocution, showing how bad things were there.

Human-trafficking has increased post-pandemic

The Vietnamese man, in his 30s, had come to the Philippines with high hopes. He thought he would land a job as a chef at a restaurant. Little did he know he would fall into the trap of human trafficking.

The police also seized firearms and ammunition from the raided center, underscoring the dangerous nature of these operations. These sneaky tricks show why it’s important for people online to be careful and know about scams, so they don’t get tricked into them.

“These scam compounds are quite different to other forms of trafficking that we have seen before… and there’s a lot more brutality involved,” Dr Caitlin Wyndham, Research and Learning leader at anti-human trafficking organization Blue Dragon told The Telegraph.

“Tackling them is much more complicated, because there are victims on both sides and because most scam centres are run by large and highly organised crime syndicates,” she added.


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Sejal Sharma Sejal is a Delhi-based journalist, currently dedicated to reporting on technology and culture. She is particularly enthusiastic about covering artificial intelligence, the semiconductor industry and helping people understand the powers and pitfalls of technology. Outside of work, she likes to play badminton and spend time with her dogs. Feel free to email her for pitches or feedback on her work.

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