Fake kid­nap­pings on the rise, Lower Main­land po­lice re­port

The Daily Courier - - THE CRIME PAGE -

Lower Main­land Dis­trict RCMP are re­mind­ing the pub­lic that vir­tual kid­nap­ping in­ci­dents are con­tin­u­ing in light of three re­cent in­ci­dents.

The RCMP is­sued a news re­lease in July warn­ing the pub­lic about an ex­tor­tion scheme that tricks vic­tims into be­liev­ing their loved ones have been kid­napped.

Nu­mer­ous vic­tims re­ported be­ing con­tacted by sus­pects claim­ing to be Chi­nese gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

The vic­tims were told they were im­pli­cated in crimes in China. The sus­pects then co­erced the vic­tims into a se­ries of ac­tions, warn­ing if they didn't co-op­er­ate, their fam­i­lies in China would be harmed.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, fam­i­lies in China were con­tacted by the sus­pects who con­vinced them that their loved ones were be­ing held against their will, which led to a de­mand for money.

In each case, the sus­pects falsely claimed to be Chi­nese gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

On Aug. 30, the RCMP an­nounced the cre­ation of a task force to ad­dress and co-or­di­nate in­for­ma­tion.

The RCMP launched an out­reach strat­egy aimed at ed­u­cat­ing those who could be po­ten­tial vic­tims and there were no fur­ther in­ci­dents re­ported up un­til mid- Oc­to­ber when the RCMP re­ceived three more re­ports.

Once again, the in­ci­dents ap­pear to be tar­get­ing fe­male Chi­nese na­tion­als.

“The RCMP would like to re­mind the Chi­nese com­mu­nity that th­ese au­to­mated calls are fraud­u­lent.” said Staff Sgt. An­nie Lin­teau, se­nior me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer with the BC RCMP. “Any­one who re­ceives sim­i­lar calls should not com­ply with any de­mands and hang-up im­me­di­ately.”

The Chi­nese Con­sulate says that should any Chi­nese cit­i­zens be in­volved in any le­gal cases in China, the rel­e­vant le­gal doc­u­ments will be mailed to them di­rectly. No phone call will be made to ver­ify any per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, es­pe­cially the per­sonal bank­ing in­for­ma­tion, the con­sulate says.

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