FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, a person uses a smart phone in Chicago. (AP Photo)

Virtual kidnapping attempt sparks renewed warning from Vancouver police

Man, 27, was most recent target but contacted police before sending money

Vancouver police are issuing a new warning after a case of virtual kidnapping was reported, a type of scam that targeted at least three families last year.

Police said in a news release Thursday that fraudsters, believed to be from outside of Canada, tried to extort a 27-year-old Vancouver man out of thousands of dollars Wednesday night.

“The victim typically receives a phone call and is convinced there is a warrant for their arrest in China, or that Chinese police need help with an investigation,” said Sgt. Aaron Roed.

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

“The suspects then tell the victim to go into hiding and to make fake videos claiming they’ve been kidnapped. The scammers send the videos to the victim’s family and friends asking for money to pay for their release.”

In this most recent case, police were alerted of the incident before money was paid to the scammers.

Last year, at least three people fell victim to similar elaborate schemes. Police believe many of these incidents have gone unreported.

While police aren’t sure how victim’s are chose, they are typically women in their early 20s from Mainland China who are in Canada studying on a student visa.

“Police from outside Canada will never arrest you in this country, ask for photos or videos of yourself pretending to be a victim of crime,” said Roed. “Any contact from international authorities should be through your local police.”

Anyone receiving phone calls from someone claiming to represent a foreign police agency should call 911 immediately.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Outdoor AED unit in Surrey among the first in B.C.

SaveStation cabinet is alarmed and monitored – and hasn’t been used yet

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read