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Thursday, June 8, 2023

FBI Warns of False Job Advertisements Linked to Labor Trafficking at Scam Compounds

Criminal actors use multiple means to coerce victims to commit cryptocurrency investment schemes, such as confiscation of passports and travel documents, threat of violence, and use of violence.

The FBI warns US citizens and individuals who travel or live abroad of the risk of false job advertisements linked to labor trafficking at Southeast Asia-based scam compounds1 where victims are held against their will, intimidated, and forced to commit international cryptocurrency investment fraud schemes2. Criminal actors target victims, primarily in Asia, in employment fraud schemes by posting false job advertisements on social media and online employment sites. The schemes cover a wide range of opportunities, to include tech support, call center customer service, and beauty salon technicians. Job seekers are offered competitive salaries, lucrative benefits, paid travel expenses as well as room and board. Often throughout the process, the location for the position is shifted from the advertised location. Upon job seekers’ arrival in the foreign country, criminal actors use multiple means to coerce them to commit cryptocurrency investment schemes, such as confiscation of passports and travel documents, threat of violence, and use of violence.

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.

Tips to Protect Yourself:

  • Research the advertised company before accepting a job offer. Beware of vague language about the company or limited employment details.
  • Beware of job advertisements with unusually high salaries and many perks.
  • If you plan on relocating to a different country for a new job, inform family and friends of employment details, to include contact information from the job advertisement.
  • Prior to relocating, schedule regular check-ins with family and friends to confirm safety and well-being.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov to receive safety, security, and travel advisories for your destination country. By registering for STEP, local US Embassy or US Consulates can contact you during an emergency.
  • If you are a victim of labor trafficking, contact the nearest US Embassy.

The FBI requests victims report these types of fraudulent or suspicious activities to the FBI IC3 at www.ic3.gov.

Read more at IC3

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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