Chinese student and her family blackmailed in another 'virtual kidnapping'
Vancouver police are reminding foreign students that Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada
Another international student has been extorted in a so-called virtual kidnapping scheme, and Vancouver police are issuing another reminder to foreign nationals that Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada.
The latest case is the third reported so far this year, according to the VPD and involved a woman in her early 20s from China who is studying here on a student visa.
Police say the victim was convinced that she was the focus of a money laundering investigation in China and paid the alleged scam artists with Bitcoin.
They then allegedly threatened her with arrest if she didn't pay more money and demanded compromising photos, which they used to convince her family she had been kidnapped.
Her family paid the alleged scammers even more money as a ransom.
"These deplorable crimes are having a huge impact on these young, trusting students and their families. We need to make sure people are aware to prevent them from continuing," Sgt. Jason Robillard said in a news release.
"We want to remind all foreign students that the Chinese police will not arrest you in Canada, and if you are confused or scared, please reach out to your local police department in Canada. We are here to help."
Investigators believe the suspects are not located in Canada, and say it's not clear how victims are chosen.
In addition to the three reports of successful virtual kidnappings this year, the VPD has received two similar reports of attempted extortion.
Police are asking anyone with information about these crimes to call the Major Crime Section at 604-717-3679 or leave an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.