International student loses thousands in kidnapping scam: Burnaby RCMP

Burnaby RCMP are warning locals about ‘virtual kidnapping’ scams after Mounties say an international student was robbed thousands of dollars.

Police say these types of scams usually involve tricking a victim’s family into believing that the person has been kidnapped when they actually haven’t.

Mounties say criminals often target Chinese students living in Canada and try to convince the victims and families into giving scammers money. It adds that scammers often pose as Chinese police or government officials.

This comes after a Burnaby international student was targeted, and scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars, the detachment says.

Burnaby RCMP infographic

Burnaby RCMP are warning people to be aware of scammers. (Photo courtesy of Burnaby RCMP)

Police say a male student got a call in August from two people claiming to be Chinese police officers, saying that he was the suspect in a police investigation.

He was also pressured into sending money online, saying that the money would be used for “legal fees.”

Over several weeks, police say the suspects told the victim to make a series of fake “hostage videos,” saying that the videos would help the student in court.

He was also instructed “to go into hiding.” Police say that victims are often told not to answer the phone or contact family and friends, although it’s unclear if that happened in this case.

Related Articles: 

But in November, police say the victim’s family in China was sent the videos along with a ransom demand.

However, police say the family was suspicious of the videos and contacted the Burnaby RCMP, who found the victim safe.

Burnaby RCMP Sgt. Freda Fong says this scam lasted for over two months and is currently under investigation.

“This extortion scam escalated over more than two months, with these scammers going to great lengths to demand money from the victim and then his family,”  she said.

“While these types of frauds can be convincing, we urge everyone, including international students and Chinese nationals living in Canada, to be aware of warning signs of virtual kidnapping scams,” she added.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today