The B.C RCMP is beginning to warn people about a “virtual kidnapping” scam that’s resurfacing, in which the victims, usually female are lured into believing their loved ones have been abducted.
In July, RCMP originally released a statement about this extortion scheme, which was specifically targeting Chinese nationals. It was reported worldwide.
The scam worked through an initial phone call where an unknown suspect contacts a victim claiming to be a Chinese government official, warning they had been implicated in crimes back in China.
“They’re told that if they do not cooperate, their families in China will be harmed,” said RCMP S/Sgt. Annie Linteau.
In August, Mounties set up a joint task force to target the extortion scheme, but investigators said incidences of the scam had died off until now.
“We did do quite a bit of outreach, specifically reaching out to some organisations that deal directly with some Chinese newcomers,” said Linteau.
The warning comes up now because the RCMP has noted three new cases of “virtual kidnapping,” that were reported in mid-October, once again targeting Chinese female nationals.
Mounties are now ramping up their outreach, to make it clear to the community that the “virtual kidnapping” is false, and that anyone who receives such a call should contact police and avoid complying with the scammers.
Mounties have also communicated with the Chinese consulate, which they said is reminding Chinese citizens that anyone implicated in legal cases would be contacted by mail from Chinese diplomatic missions, never by phone.
Read the full story over at Global News