Saanich Police are warning the public, specifically members of our Chinese community, as they recently investigated an elaborate extortion scheme consistent with a “virtual kidnapping.”
Detectives were requested to assist with an in-progress event on October 23, 2019 that occurred in the City of Vancouver. Saanich Police are warning the public, specifically members of our Chinese community, as they recently investigated an elaborate extortion scheme consistent with a “virtual kidnapping.” Detectives were requested to assist with an in-progress event on October 23, 2019 that occurred in the City of Vancouver.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, the family in Saanich were contacted and an attempt to extort money ensured in this elaborate scheme. The family, believing their loved on was in danger, contacted police to report the kidnapping. The decision to quickly contact local police, was instrumental in thwarting this fraud attempt.
There appears to be some common themes in these incidents. “The victim typically receives a phone call and is convinced there is a warrant for their arrest in China, or that Chinese police need help with an investigation,” says S/Sgt Chris Horsley, SPD. “The suspects then tell the victim to go into hiding and to make fake videos claiming they’ve been kidnapped. The scammers send the videos to the victim’s family and friends asking for money to pay for their release.”“Police from outside Canada will never arrest you in this country, ask for photos or videos of yourself pretending to be a victim of crime,” says S/Sgt Horsley. “Any contact from international authorities should be through your local police.
What can you do? If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate or the Chinese Police who ask you to participate in a similar occurrence, you are asked to call our non-emergency line at (250) 475-4321, or your local police.Speak with family, students and visitors in your community from mainland China about these extortions and encourage them to contact police if they feel unsafe or are contacted by people claiming to be the Chinese authorities who are asking them to pretend to be the victim of a crime.
WARNING | EXTORTIONS TIPSWARNING | EXTORTIONS TIPS
1. The Chinese Police or government cannot arrest you in Canada.
2. All policing related contact from the Chinese government will be through local police.
3. Canadian or Chinese authorities will not ask you to destroy a phone or to take photos or videos of yourself pretending to be the victim of a crime.
4. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be the Chinese police and they ask you to be of assist and investigation by pretending to be the victim of a crime, call (250) 475-4321 for assistance (even if they tell you not to).
5. The Saanich Police are here to help you. If you feel unsafe or threatened, please call us either by dialing 911 or (250) 475-4321.
Det. Staff Sergeant Chris Horsley #50