MANILA — Eight Filipinos in Cambodia who fell victim to online job scammers were rescued by authorities there, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.
They were deceived into working for an online scamming and catfishing syndicate in Cambodia's Ouddar Meanchey and Kampot provinces, the DFA said in a statement.
The eight were rescued by the Cambodian National Police and investigated by the Anti-Cyber Crime Unit before they were turned over to the General Department of Immigration.
The DFA, in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh, said it provided welfare assistance and arranged for the eventual release of the Filipinos.
"Human trafficking in Southeast Asia is a serious regional issue, and the DFA is exerting efforts to ensure the safety of Filipinos wherever they are," said DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo José A. de Vega, who met the victims at the NAIA Terminal 2 early Saturday.
"We will continue to engage with the ASEAN Member States and international partners to clamp down on this abhorrent activity," De Vega added in the statement.
The DFA warned that tourists cannot work in Cambodia without a valid work permit.
It urged the public to be cautious about online job offers that are "too good to be true."
"Jobseekers should apply only through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or licensed recruitment agencies," the DFA said.