Young woman latest target of ‘virtual kidnapping’ in Vancouver: police

Police say a woman in her 20s received a call from someone pretending to be with Chinese police

Vancouver police are re-issuing its warning to the public after a third case of virtual kidnapping, this time targeting a young woman from Mainland China.

Police say a woman in her 20s, studying in Canada on a student visa, recently received a call from someone pretending to be a Chinese police officer. Through the common fraud practise called ‘spoofing’ the call even appeared to come from a Chinese police phone number, police said in a news release Wednesday.

The woman was them convinced to pay money to the scammers through a bitcoin ATM, after being told she had been implicated in a money laundering investigation in China and was required to transfer Chinese funds for police and court costs.

But the scam didn’t end there.

Police said the suspects continued to threaten her with an arrest unless she paid additional money, and convinced her to provide them with compromising photos, which were sent to her family in China via communication app “WeChat.”

Meanwhile, police said the scammers made it appear as though the woman has been kidnapped.

READ MORE: Two students targeted by ‘virtual kidnapping’ scam

The woman was physically unharmed, police said, but her family did pay the ransom. Police did not confirm the total amount lost through the scam.

“These deplorable crimes are having a huge impact on these young, trusting students, and their families. We need to make sure people are aware to prevent them from continuing,” Sgt. Jason Robillard said in a news release.

“We want to remind all foreign students that the Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada, and if you are confused or scared, please reach out to your local police department in Canada. We are here to help.”

Police said it remains unclear how the victims are chosen.

While it is believed that the suspects are not in Canada, investigators from the Major Crime Section continue to work with Chinese officials and other police agencies.

Police say they have received three reports of virtual kidnappings, and two reports of attempted virtual kidnappings so far this year. Investigators believe that there may be more incidents that have not yet been reported. Anyone with information about these crimes to call the police at 604-717-3679 or Crime Stoppers.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@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