Fake kidnappings on the rise, Lower Mainland police report
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.