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Beware of scamsters: MEA warns Indian nationals of job scams in Laos, Cambodia

The Ministry of External Affairs has issued a warning to Indian nationals about the growing threat of human traffickers luring individuals with false promises of high-paying jobs in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. Victims are often forced into cybercrime activities upon arrival.

Edited By: Vaidehi Jahagirdar New Delhi Published on: May 17, 2024 17:56 IST
Fake Job
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday cautioned Indian nationals against falling prey to human traffickers on the pretext of lucrative job opportunities in Cambodia and other Southeast Asian regions. In a detailed release, the MEA advised Indian nationals planning to travel to the region to thoroughly verify the antecedents of the recruiting agent or the company to avoid falling for any criminal syndicate operating in the region. These syndicates lure people with the promise of lucrative jobs but once the victims arrive in the foreign country, they are forced to engage in cybercrime activities, the Ministry said. 

Advising Indian nationals not to get 'enticed and entrapped' by fraudulent and exploitative job offers, the MEA said, "All Indian nationals who are traveling for jobs in Cambodia and the Southeast Asian region are advised that there are many fake agents operating in the region. These agents, in collaboration with agents in India, lure people to scam companies involved especially in cybercrime. Anybody who takes up a job in Cambodia should do so only through authorized agents approved by the Ministry of External Affairs of India."

Significantly, the MEA's release comes in the wake of repeated reports where several Indians were forcibly captivated and coerced into carrying out cyber frauds against Indians using social media platforms. Narrating their ordeals, the victims mentioned that they were enticed with the dream of high-paying jobs in foreign lands, but once they arrived, they were forced to engage in unsafe and illegal activities.

In its release, the MEA also mentioned recent reports of Indian nationals being deceived with job offers in Laos, facilitated through Thailand. The dubious companies, mostly involved in cryptocurrency fraud or call center fraud, particularly in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Laos, post vacancies for positions like 'Digital Sales and Marketing Executives' or 'Customer Support Service.'

"Agents in places such as Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, and India associated with these firms are recruiting Indian nationals by conducting simple interviews and typing tests, and offering high salaries, hotel bookings, return air tickets, and visa facilitation," the MEA said.

However, upon arrival in Thailand, victims were illegally transported across the border to Laos and held captive under severe and restrictive conditions. They are often forced to work under restrictive conditions, facing constant physical and mental abuse by criminal syndicates, the MEA added.

The MEA further stresses that a Visa on Arrival in Thailand or Laos does not permit employment, and the government authorities there do not issue work permits to Indian nationals who enter the country on such visas, which are meant strictly for tourism purposes only. 

READ MORE | Beware of scamsters: MEA warns Indian nationals of job scams in Laos, Cambodia

READ MORE | India rescues 250 nations who are propelled in cyber fraud scam in Cambodia: MEA


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