First on Newsbytes.PH | Google replaces call center in PH after P60-M scam

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Internet giant Google has confirmed that it pulled out an outsourced work from the Cebu operations of BPO firm Sykes after a few employees were caught converting online gift cards into bitcoins.   

“We are constantly assessing our business needs and have decided to shift this business to another vendor in the Philippines,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement sent to Newsbytes.PH on Sunday, Aug. 23.

The illegal activity first broke out in social media in early August when about three Sykes employees in Cebu were found to have siphoned off about P60 million worth of Google online gift cards and converted it into bitcoins over a long period of time.

Florida-based Sykes, in a statement, admitted that the scam took place but stressed it quickly clamped down on the erring employees.

“In the past few months, we learned that a small number of employees violated our standards of conduct. We took swift action on those employees in accordance with company policies,” the BPO firm said, although it did not disclose if it filed criminal charges against the dismissed employees.

Sykes also denied social media posts that around 300 workers lost their jobs due to the incident, saying employees who were not directly involved in the misdeed were transferred to other accounts within the company.

“While there have been business changes that may have impacted some groups, we have ensured that all our hardworking employees are reassigned to other programs,” the company explained.

Sykes said it has clear policies and procedures to prevent, identify, and handle instances of fraud within the organization. “We value the trust that our clients and employees put in us and will continue operating with the highest standards of quality and professionalism,” it added.

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