THE PHILIPPINE Immigration bureau on Wednesday warned the public against cryptocurrency scammers who lure young professionals into working illegally in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman G. Tansingco said scammers are luring urban professionals by promising them jobs only to be forced to work for potential cryptocurrency investors.

“These highly educated professionals would not even think that they would be vulnerable and be trafficked, as they are merely exploring opportunities that they may have encountered online,” he said.

The agency said Filipinos should remain cautious online because scammers usually lure victims through online offers.

Mr. Tansingco said the agency would look into the cases of the eight repatriated Filipinos who were rescued from a trafficking scheme in Myanmar.

The victims were recruited online from Dubai after being promised customer support positions in Thailand. They were instead forced to dupe people into investing in cryptocurrency through social media platforms.

In November, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), Department of Foreign Affairs and Office of Senator Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel rescued 12 victims of an illegal recruitment scheme in Myanmar.

In August, Migrant Workers Undersecretary Bernard P. Olalia issued an advisory suspending the deployment of Filipino workers to Myanmar due to violence and armed conflict in the area.

The DMW has said it would keep a blacklist of foreign employers found to have violated labor standards, including exploitation and abuse of migrant workers.

The immigration bureau earlier said it would set up posts in major Philippine airports that will cater to cases of cyber-crime and online fraud.

“Professionals are now being lured by promises of good salaries and other incentives, only to be embroiled in this scam,” Mr. Tansingco said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez