An international student living in Burnaby was tricked into making hostage videos of himself and handing over thousands of dollars, after scammers posed as Chinese police officers.
The two pretend officers phoned the student, who is from China, in late August and told him he was the suspect of an investigation. The scammers convinced the student they were Chinese police officers and that if the student made hostage videos of himself it would help his court case.
The student was also pressured into transferring thousands of dollars to the scammers using an online money transfer app, which he was told would be used for legal fees.
Meanwhile, the scammers took the student’s hostage videos and sent them to his family in China along with a ransom demand. Luckily, the family sensed something was off and contacted police. Burnaby RCMP were able to find the student, who had been told by the scammers to go into hiding, and determined he was in fact okay.
The scam is the second virtual kidnapping reported by police in Metro Vancouver in the last month. In November, a North Vancouver man was nearly tricked into handing over money to fraudsters who pretended to have taken his wife.
Burnaby RCMP say if someone receives a suspicious call they should never comply with demands, immediately report it to police and never give out personal information.