Virtual kidnapping scheme surfacing again, RCMP warn
2018-04-11 10:32 PDT
An extortion scheme that deceives victims into believing their loved ones have been kidnapped is surfacing once again, warns the Lower Mainland RCMP.
In August 2017, a joint task force was created to address and coordinate information about the telecommunications fraud that targeted Chinese foreign nationals. Working closely with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China and post-secondary institutions, the RCMP launched a public education campaign detailing how the scheme worked. In December, a recording of an automated call used by the suspects was also released in Mandarin. See December news release. There were no new reports until this past week when police received a number of calls from around the Lower Mainland.
The scheme begins when a victim receives an automated call from what appears to be a Chinese government phone number. The suspects claim to be a government representative or police officer. Victims are made to believe they are implicated in an investigation in China and are convinced to pay money for the issue to be resolved. In some cases, victims are instructed to isolate themselves and avoid Canadian police. Their families are then contacted and extorted for the return of their loved ones.
The Chinese consulate in Vancouver reminds Chinese nationals in Canada, should anyone be involved in a criminal investigation in China, legal documents will be sent by formal written notice through the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa or Consulate General in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. The above –mentioned diplomatic or consular agencies will not contact suspects by phone, nor will they ask for personal banking information.
The RCMP urge anyone who receives similar calls or messages to call 911, their local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
S/Sgt. Annie Linteau
Senior Media Relations Officer
"E" Division Communication Services
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, B.C. V3T 6P3 - Mailstop #1608
Office No.: 778-290-2929
Fax No.: 778-290-6114
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