About a week after starting work for her wealthy employers on Tsing Yi in early August, Prizalyn Castro started receiving threatening phone calls and demand notes from a Hong Kong finance company for her to pay $2,300 a month on her 'loan'. She was shocked because she said she had not signed a loan agreement with the Hong Kong money lender, nor with her Hong Kong and Manila recruitment agencies. Ms Castro, 22, who worked for two years in Singapore as a helper, said she had paid 30,000 pesos ($4,300) in cash to the Manila recruitment agency. Before leaving for Hong Kong, she was told she could pay the balance of 40,000 pesos in her own time. But it was a bitter sweetener. After the daily phone calls and letters by the Hong Kong money lender, she was so scared she paid $6,615 in two installments on August 28 and October 22. She had only about $1,000 left for her monthly needs and to send to her five siblings who were depending on her. But Ms Castro said that on November 6, her employers sacked her, stating in her termination letter to the Immigration Department that 'I got food without permission'. She was the couple's only helper in a six-bedroom flat where her employers, their two children and a grandmother live. Ms Castro said the day before she was fired, she was told by 'Por-por' - grandmother - that it would be OK if she cooked luncheon meat for herself to eat out during her day off. Ms Castro said she was grateful and cooked a can of luncheon meat, worth $17.25, and also brought two oranges worth $2. The supervisor of the Hong Kong recruitment agency offered her a refund of 20,000 pesos, she said, which she refused. She wanted the full return of the $6,615 that she paid to the money lender. Ms Castro filed a case with the Small Claims Tribunal against the Hong Kong money lender. She left for Manila last Friday. The Labour Department said it would look into the case of the Hong Kong recruiter to check if there was any breach of labour laws and overcharging of commission. 'If a case involves collusion between employment agencies and money lenders or a FDH [foreign domestic helper] has been forced to sign a loan agreement, the aggrieved may report the case to the police for investigation,' the spokesman said.