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HomeBreaking NewsRCMP renew ‘virtual kidnapping’ warning after international student scammed in Burnaby

RCMP renew ‘virtual kidnapping’ warning after international student scammed in Burnaby

'Quick read' news summary

RCMP have renewed warnings about so-called “virtual kidnapping” scams, after an international student living in Burnaby, B.C., was recently targeted.

According to police, scammers phoned the victim, who is a Chinese citizen, claiming to be police officers from China and telling the student they were the subject of an investigation.

“Over the course of several weeks, the suspects directed the victim to make a series of hostage videos, telling the victim it would help his court case,” police said in a media release Tuesday.

“The victim was also pressured into paying the suspects tens of thousands of dollars using an online money transfer app, with the suspects telling him the money would be used for legal fees in his court case.”

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Those phony hostage videos were used last month as part of a ransom demand to the student’s family.

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The family became suspicious and contacted Burnaby RCMP, who was able to verify the student’s safety. However, they say the scammers had directed the victim to go into hiding.

The incident is the latest in a string of virtual kidnapping schemes in the Lower Mainland, with fraudsters frequently targeting Chinese nationals and posing as agents of the Chinese government.

The scammers aim to trick the victims’ overseas families into believing they have been kidnapped, by manipulating the victim into cutting off contact with family and friends or creating misleading photos or videos.

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Police are urging anyone who is targeted in this way

RCMP have renewed warnings about so-called “virtual kidnapping” scams, after an international student living in Burnaby, B.C., was recently targeted. According to police, scammers phoned the victim, who is a Chinese citizen, claiming to be police officers from China and telling the student they were the subject of an investigation. “Over the course of several weeks, the suspects directed the victim to make a series of hostage videos, telling the victim it would help his court case,” police said in a media release Tuesday.

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