Chilling reality facing romance scammers who are ‘locked in Cambodian torture chambers’ | #datingscams | #lovescams

Almost everyone with a mobile phone has been targeted by romance scammers. These apparently attractive people get in touch through social media, dating apps, or sometimes even just a text to offer companionship, love, or more.

But while these annoying catfishing messages are simply ignored by most of us, there’s a horrifying dark reality behind them, says investigative journalist Lindsey Kennedy. She managed to get inside one of the heavily guarded compounds where migrant workers are forced to work on romance scams – called ‘pig butchering’ by insiders. What she found inside was shocking.

“There was one in Kampot, in the south of Cambodia,” she told podcaster Andrew Gold. “It’s a very beautiful area, very touristy area – people go up there to take photos…”

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For more dramatic stories from the world of crime check out the Daily Star’s crime section here

The area where the ‘pig butchering’ call centre was located may have been picturesque, but it held a dark secret(Image: Getty Images)

But, Lindsey explains, the disused casino at the top of the hill hides a sinister secret. “A lot of casinos got repurposed as scam centres during Covid …they went from doing gambling, then illegal online gambling, then scam sites,” she said.

This particular centre, which was run by a local gangster known as Big Fatty, was raided after Thai officials pressured the Cambodian government into taking action. It has already reopened, but during the brief shutdown, Lindsey managed to sneak inside to get a first-hand look at the conditions the romance scammers had been working in.

“We climbed over the fences and managed to get a look inside,” she said. “It was everything that was being described by people who had recently managed to escape from there.

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