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

Excel Martial Arts raises more than $5,000 for family of Chilliwack man killed in workplace accident

By-donation fundraiser event helps wife, three children of 28-year-old Nathan Appleton of Chilliwack

Chilliwack Lions Club has a new place to call home

After more than five years without a headquarters, Chilliwack Lions Club moves into new hall

Sardis Falcons top Heritage Woods in field lacrosse opener

The Falcons rallied from a halftime hole to take a big win on the road in Port Moody.

Chilliwack prolific offender charged in four alleged incidents in 12 days

Branden Tanner busted for alleged smash-and-grab Nov. 30, then incidents Dec. 3, Dec. 8 and Dec. 11

Four companies vying to open cannabis stores in locations across Chilliwack

Rezoning applications for non-medical cannabis outlets pending, and some will require variances

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Hundreds attend Hells Angels funeral in Maple Ridge

Body of Chad John Wilson found last month face-down under the Golden Ears Bridge.

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Gas prices to climb 11 cents overnight in Lower Mainland

Hike of 17 cents in less than 48 hours due to unexpected shutdown of Washington state pipeline

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Most Read