Police are warning the public about an extortion scheme that tricks victims into believing their loved ones have been kidnapped. 

RCMP say numerous victims have been contacted by suspects claiming to be Chinese government officials. The victims are told they were implicated in crimes in China.

The incidents appear to be targeting female Chinese nationals who are often coerced into a series of actions that, if not completed, would result in harm to their families. 

At the same time, families in China are contacted by suspects claiming to be Chinese government officials who say their loved ones in Canada are being held against their will, leading to a demand for money.

Police first alerted the public about this scam in July. There were no further incidents up until mid- October when the RCMP received three new reports. 

Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau says "the RCMP would like to remind the Chinese community these automated calls are fraudulent." 

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RCMP Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau says "the RCMP would like to remind the Chinese community that these automated calls are fraudulent." ((CBC))

The Consulate General of the People's Republic of China is also advising Chinese students in Vancouver any relevant legal documents involving official legal cases in China will be mailed to them directly from the Chinese diplomatic missions.

Officials say phone calls are never made to verify personal information, especially personal banking information.

Linteau says the RCMP launched a task force in the summer, but the recent incidents are a good reminder to people targeted in this way to phone them.