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.

Just Posted

Gravel resurfacing at Sheffield dog park questioned by Chilliwack dog owners

One person said the best dog park in Chilliwack was ruined by the gravel

Rain is in the forecast for most of the week in Chilliwack

Folks can say farewell to the fair weather after today and hello to the rain in Chilliwack

Chilliwack single mother’s trauma therapy dog victim of a hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner Keshia Spenst facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Chilliwack farmer ‘frustrated’ with inferior Hungarian ducks in Canada

Ken Falk says Canada Food Inspection Agency is not protecting consumers by enforcing standards

No defence witnesses in trial of man charged in killing of Abbotsford student

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

15-year-old charged following threat to South Surrey high school

Police announce pair of teens arrested for Nov. 14 incident at Elgin Park Secondary

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Injured eagle rescued in White Rock: ‘It was the size of a turkey!’

Bald eagle may have gotten into a fight over territory

Don’t expect extra bus service during impending SkyTrain strike, CMBC says

Full SkyTrain shutdown is scheduled to start Tuesday morning

Most Read