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

27 years of supporting victims and survivors of crime and trauma

Marianne Brueckert with Victim Services says it is a gift to work with survivors of crime, tragedy

Hope Search and Rescue assist in flood response

Evacuation alerts and river monitoring carried out by HSAR together with the District of Hope

Chilliwack prolific offender a no-show for sentencing hearing

Warrant issued on May 17 for Jeffrey Michael Kizmann wanted for robbery

Province has been missing in action on flood protection, experts say

Political will to improve dikes lacking, says B.C.’s former flood safety chief

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

UPDATE: RCMP on scene to remove homeless housing protesters

Residents blocking the installation of modular housing in Maple Ridge

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read