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

WATCH: Langley Glow events denied permission to run

Darvonda Nurseries received a notice from the ALC on March 5.

Mounties hunt for missing Langley man

The public has been asked to help locate David Grainger, last seen on March 19

Langley takedown linked to murder conspiracy case

Dramatic arrest was part of Taskforce Tourniquet, a multi-agency police gang investigation

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

WATCH: Langley teen singer a finalist in international competition

Langley’s Sean Thomas, 17, is a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read