Global WhatsApp jobs scam worth €100m linked to China and cyber slavery networks

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October 30, 2023
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In the Press

Euronews has reported on an international job scam that has links to cyber slavery, gaining insight from HRC’s briefings on the scamming compounds and the team’s expertise on the issue.

This piece investigates a prolific global recruitment phishing scam, being referred to as WebWyrm, where people are recruited on the premise of completing simple tasks and receiving payments via crypto currencies. It has impacted over 100,000 people from around the world, with around €100 million being taken from the victims.

The journalist, Aylin Elci, uncovers the connections between this emerging scam, Chinese criminal gangs, and human trafficking in scamming compounds. Estimates indicate one million victims are working in modern slavery conditions, who are forced to scam in these compounds.

HRC’s briefings on the scamming compounds, which cover the recruitment tactics, victim profile, treatment of victims, and scamming methods, are referenced throughout the article. Valentina Casulli also speaks on the evidence linking fraud and forced labour with criminal gangs, and how this crime fuels and involves other criminal activities.

HRC will be releasing a detailed briefing in the coming weeks on this emerging type of fraud, and its connections with Chinese organised crime and forced labour in the scamming compounds.

Thank you to Aylin Elci and the rest of the Euronews team for their diligent reporting behind this piece, which is the second of a two part series on the WebWyrm scam.