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

Serious crash closes Highway 1 at 232 Street

One vehicle burst into flames, victim airlifted to hospital following Thursday evening collision

Township continues flood evacuation alert in Northwest Langley

Township of Langley takes cautious approach as Abbotsford rescinds Glen Valley alert

Man withdraws $6,000 using fraudulent ID

The Langley RCMP have released surveillance photos of various crimes

Thieves steal $2,200 in supplies from Langley Community Farmers’ Market

Two people took off on bicycles with tents, flags and table coverings

Three arrested in Aldergrove stabbing

Downtown areas cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape, under police watch

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Most Read