Filipino 'catfished' for Thailand job

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

A 29-YEAR-OLD Filipino man attempting to illegally work in an online gaming company in Thailand was apprehended by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 3 in Pasay City on Monday, April 22, 2024.

The man, whose identity was withheld, was suspected to be a victim of catfishing, a deceptive online practice where someone creates a fake persona to manipulate or exploit others.

According to the BI's Immigration Protection and Border Enforcement Section (I-Probes), the man initially presented himself as a tourist on a short vacation to Thailand.

However, inconsistencies in his statements and documents led to a secondary inspection.

The I-Probes then discovered the man's return ticket was fake, and he admitted he planned to work illegally in an online gaming company in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

He revealed being contacted by a female recruiter through Telegram, a social media app.

The recruiter reportedly promised him a high-paying job ($1,200 monthly) but required him to travel under false pretences.

The man further stated he had paid the recruiter P30,000 to secure this opportunity.


I-Probes Chief Bienvenido Castillo III suspects this is a case of "catfishing," where victims lured by online gaming jobs are forced into scamming activities abroad.

He noted a common tactic where victims are instructed to fabricate employment with local manpower agencies to conceal their true intentions.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco highlighted the growing problem of catfishing disguised as online gaming recruitment across Asia.

He mentioned discussions with neighboring countries revealing similar concerns.

The deceptive approach involves attracting individuals for call center or online gaming positions, but they ultimately become "catfishers," targeting Western men on dating apps and tricking them into investing in fake cryptocurrency accounts.


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