Trafficked Facebook Scammers Punished With Taser, Pushups: Report


  • Indonesian workers have been recruited for jobs in Cambodia where ‘clients’ have been scammed on Facebook, a new investigation shows.
  • A trafficking victim told VOD English that workers who didn’t meet quotas had to do push-ups.
  • Another victim said he made a mistake that nearly exposed the scam and was verbally abused and hit.

A new investigation into human trafficking of Indonesian nationals into Cambodia sheds light on some of the working conditions of those who have fallen into the shadowy world of scammers on Facebook.

Indonesian nationals told local publication VOD English that they were recruited for jobs in Cambodia involving Facebook scams and were physically punished if they made mistakes or failed to meet “customer” quotas.

The Indonesian embassy said at least 417 Indonesian nationals have been smuggled into Cambodia to work since early last year and officials are focused on rescuing them, according to the report.

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One of the trafficking victims told VOD English that she was referred to a Facebook employment agency through her former boss.

The worker, who used the alias “Sky,” told the publication that the task is to create fake Facebook profiles with photos of young Asian women to talk to men on the site in order to induce them to invest in a fake one interested in cryptocurrency.

The Better Business Bureau recently said that Facebook fraud is on the rise, with scammers on Facebook Marketplace telling sellers they need to update their digital payment apps likezelle and CashApp to accept payments. A reporter at Insider shared her experience of almost being scammed on Marketplace when a “shopper” asked her to upgrade her cell account.

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Sky told VOD English workers who didn’t meet their “customer” quota would have to do 50 push-ups for each missing customer.

“I was stupid enough to believe him because I don’t have a choice,” she told VOD English. “If I stay inside [my dorm] and I don’t do anything, I get more than push-ups.”

Sky and other workers recruited with her said they lived in a building called Sun Residences in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, where the job was located.

Another worker who left Aseng said he was hired at Sky and told VOD English he was scolded and beaten when he made a mistake while speaking to a customer. Like Sky, he said he needed to get people to invest in a fake cryptocurrency so the unsuspecting person would link their wallet to the parent company’s wallet. Instead, Aseng sent the wrong link, nearly exposing the scam, he told the publication.

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Aseng showed the English VOD reporter scars on his arm from the punishment and told them, “I like this job, but this company hit us.”

Eventually, Sky and several other workers recruited with her were allowed to leave the company and return to Indonesia, VOD English reported. Aseng told the publication he would have stayed at the company if his superiors hadn’t beaten him.

Read the full investigation on VOD English.



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