Job Seekers Alert: Online Scams Luring Workers–BI

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently issued a warning to job seekers about the increasing prevalence of online scams targeting Filipino workers.  

This caution comes after several repatriations of Filipino victims trafficked to Laos and Myanmar under false employment prospects.  

Understanding these scams and learning how to protect oneself is important for anyone considering overseas employment, as shared on the official FB page of the Bureau of Immigration.

job scams BI
Credits: BI / Facebook

Rise of Online Job Scams

The Philippines, with its growing internet penetration and a large population seeking employment, has become a prime target for online job scams. 

These scams exploit the desire for a better life and financial security, often preying on the desperation of unemployed or underemployed Filipinos. 

Reports suggest millions of Filipinos are actively seeking work, with a significant number unemployed or underemployed, creating a large pool of potential victims for scammers. 

Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm, estimates over 3 million unemployed and 7 million underemployed Filipinos. 

The pandemic’s emphasis on remote work has made Filipinos more open to online work opportunities, increasing their vulnerability to scams disguised as legitimate work-from-home offers.

The Philippine government recognizes the severity of this issue and has taken steps to address it. 

The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and the Revised Penal Code provide legal mechanisms to prosecute online employment scams as cybercrime and fraud. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has conducted raids and arrests of individuals involved in online employment scams. 

However, the challenge remains significant. Public awareness campaigns and improved online security measures are essential to effectively curb these scams.

Repatriation of Trafficked Filipinos

Recent Cases of Trafficking

On May 16, a 42-year-old male Filipino worker was the first to be repatriated from Laos.  He arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, sharing a harrowing tale of deceit and exploitation.  

Recruited via Facebook, he was promised a lucrative work as a customer service representative (CSR) with a monthly salary of P50,000.  

However, upon arrival, he received no compensation and found himself in a dire situation. 

Two days later, another group of eight Filipinos was repatriated from Thailand.  These individuals had fled their employers in Myanmar after being recruited through Telegram, another social media platform.  

They were similarly promised high salaries of P55,000 but were forced to work as love scammers targeting homosexuals online. 

Their task was to lure victims into investing in fraudulent cryptocurrency accounts through dating websites. 

job scams online
Credits: BI / Facebook

Conditions and Escape

The victims reported severe mistreatment, including being forced to clean toilets and jog in the middle of the day if they failed to meet their quotas.  

Their employers only allowed them to leave when they sensed an uprising among the Filipinos.  

The victims escaped to Thailand by boat and sought help from the Philippine consulate. 

Understanding the Scam Modus Operandi

Recruitment Tactics

Scammers use social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram to recruit victims, offering enticing employment opportunities with high salaries.  

These employment offers often target vulnerable individuals seeking better opportunities abroad. 

False Promises and Exploitation

Once recruited, the victims are transported to foreign countries under tourist visas, masking their true purpose.  

Upon arrival, they are subjected to exploitative conditions, including unpaid labor and coercive activities like online scamming.  

Failure to meet unrealistic targets often results in punishment and further abuse. 

Official Warnings and Advice

Government Channels for Verification

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco strongly advises Filipinos seeking overseas employment to verify job offers through official government agencies.  

This step is essential in ensuring the legitimacy of the job and the safety of the workers. 

“Do not agree to illegal job offers. 

Do not put yourselves in danger by saying yes to this syndicate,” Tansingco urged. 

Ongoing Investigations

The recent repatriations are part of a larger trend, with over 900 Filipinos falling victim to similar human-trafficking syndicates in recent years.  

Some of these cases are currently under investigation by a Senate committee, highlighting the widespread nature of the issue. 

How to Protect Yourself from Job Scams

Verify Job Offers

Before accepting any employment offer abroad, always verify its legitimacy through official government agencies like the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)

They can provide information on accredited employers and valid job orders

Be Wary of Too-Good-To-Be-True Offers

High salaries and easy work conditions can be tempting, but they are often red flags for scams.  

Research the company and the employment offer thoroughly. 

Look for reviews, official websites, and contact previous employees if possible. 

Avoid Using Social Media for Job Applications

While social media can be a useful networking tool, it is also a breeding ground for scammers.  

Use official job portals and websites for your employment search to avoid falling prey to fraudulent schemes. 

Seek Legal Advice

If you are unsure about a job offer, seek advice from legal professionals or trusted organizations that specialize in overseas employment.  

They can help you understand the terms of the job and your rights as a worker. 

Video: Online job applicants pinayuhang mag-ingat sa mga scam | TV Patrol

The number of individuals opting for online work is growing, but it comes with a warning. In this news segment titled “TV Patrol,” job seekers are advised to exercise caution as the prevalence of online employment scams continues to rise.


Recent Updates

Love Scammers Exploit Filipinas: Bureau of Immigration Issues Warning

The Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines is alerting the public about a concerning trend of love scammers who are using their name to deceive Filipinas. 

These scammers trick victims by claiming that their foreign partners have been detained at the airport and demand payment for fines related to undocumented currency found in their luggage. 

The Bureau emphasizes that they do not handle currency or luggage, confirming these messages as scams and urging people to be cautious.

Filipino Workers Exploited in Online Love Scam Operation

Filipino workers were deceived and coerced into participating in online love scams, targeting homosexual individuals. 

Promised high salaries, they were recruited through social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram, only to face exploitation, non-payment of wages, and dismissal for failing to meet quotas. 

With the assistance of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the victims were repatriated and sought help from the Philippine consulate. 

The Bureau of Immigration Commissioner issued a warning, urging the public to verify job offers through official government agency channels to avoid falling victim to similar scams.



The increase in online scams targeting Filipino workers highlights the importance of vigilance and due diligence when seeking employment abroad. 

The recent cases of repatriated victims from Laos and Myanmar serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of falling for too-good-to-be-true job offers.  

By verifying employment offers through official channels and staying informed about common scam tactics, job seekers can protect themselves from exploitation and ensure a safer path to overseas employment.  

Always remember to prioritize your safety and well-being above all else. 

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