Police warn about ‘virtual kidnapping’ scheme targeting foreign students

Students are told to make fake videos that are sent to their families to extort money

Vancouver Police are warning the public after two Chinese students were targeted in elaborate ‘virtual kidnapping’ schemes.

Police said that two students have been targeted so far in 2018, following 20 ‘virtual kidnapping’ cases in 2017.

The suspects typically target women in their early 20s from mainland China who are in B.C. studying on a foreign visa.

Police say that the schemes start with a student getting a call from a number that looks to be from the Chinese consulate.

The caller tells the student that there’s a warrant out for their arrest in China or that Chinese police need their help with an investigation.

The students get convinced to make a fake video pretending to have been kidnapped or hit by another crime and told to go hide out from Canadian police at a motel or short term rental.

That video is then sent to the victim’s family in an attempt to extort them for money.

“We want to remind all foreign students that the Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada, or ask you to take photos or videos of yourselves pretending to be the victim of crime,” said Sgt. Jason Robillard in a news release.

“Legitimate contact from the Chinese authorities will be through your local police. We are here to help you. If you are confused or scared, reach out to your local police department in Canada.”

Police are asking anyone with any information to call 604-717-3679 or if they wish to remain anonymous, to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

Update: Highway 1 reopened after single-vehicle rollover north of Yale

Single-vehicle crash with three occupants happened at Saddle Rock Tunnel at 10:15 a.m.

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

WATCH: Recruitment set to start for the Molson Coors Brewery at Chilliwack

There were about 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and some staff now being sought

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read