Saanich Police are warning people — specifically members of the island's Chinese community — to be aware of "virtual" kidnapping and extortion attempts.

On Wednesday, Saanich Police were asked to help investigate a recent case in Vancouver that involved a Saanich family.

Sgt. Chris Horsley, of Saanich police, says scammers will contact the victim and tell them that Chinese police need their help with an investigation, or that there is a warrant out for their arrest.

"The suspects then tell the victim to go into hiding and make fake videos claiming they've been kidnapped," says Horsley. "The scammers send the videos to the victim's family and friend asking for money to pay for their release."

Horsley says people should know that any contact from Chinese police would go through local detachments. Also, police will never ask anyone to provide photos or videos of themselves pretending to be kidnapped.

"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 Horsley.

Anyone who is contacted by someone who claims to be from the Chinese Consulate or Chinese police is asked to contact Saanich police's non-emergency line at 250-475-4321, or your local police.