Police are warning Vancouverites about a number of virtual kidnapping extortions, where people are getting scammed out of thousands of dollars.
These “virtual kidnappers” call their victims, saying there is a warrant for their arrest in China or that the Chinese police need their help with an investigation.
They then tell the victims to go into hiding and make fake videos, saying they’ve been kidnapped.
The suspects send the videos to the families and demand money in exchange for the victims’ release.
Police said there have been several such scams over the last two years, but they recently thwarted one involving a 27-year-old man.
This time, the family notified police before transferring any money, but others have not been so lucky.
“We are trying to get ahead of this because what we saw last time was all of the sudden there was eight, nine,10 reportings in a small short period of time,” Police spokesperson, Sgt. Aaron Roed told CBC.
The virtual kidnappers come from outside of Canada and usually prey on women in their early 20’s. They are usually from China, but studying in Canada.
“We want people to be notified that the Chinese authorities, Chinese police are not going to call you,” said Roed.
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