Victoria police warn of another attempted 'virtual kidnapping' scam
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 5:21PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 13, 2018 6:23PM PDT
Victoria police are warning that another person has fallen victim to an elaborate extortion scheme known as a "virtual kidnapping."
Investigators are warning the public and specifically members of the Chinese community that a scammer posing as a Chinese authority called a woman on July 11.
The man, who reportedly spoke in what's described as "unaccented" Mandarin, said he was from the Chinese embassy and that the woman had a package waiting.
Police say she was then connected with a man who claimed he was an investigator from a specific authority, and he told her she was implicated in a serious crime.
The caller then spent several hours prompting the woman for personal and financial information, saying it was for an ongoing investigation.
She didn't realize it was an extortion attempt until she spoke with a friend who became suspicious about the caller. That's when they contacted police.
"So far, it appears the woman has not suffered any financial losses, however much of her personal information has been compromised," VicPD said in a statement.
Getting auto-dial calls that speak near perfect Mandarin? A near miss is prompting our 2nd warning about an elaborate extortion fraud similar to a virtual kidnapping. | https://t.co/dC07rUAoMt #F1829937 #yyj— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) July 13, 2018
The "virtual kidnapping" scheme has reared its head in B.C.'s capital and in the Lower Mainland before.
In other cases, victims have been convinced to make fake videos indicating they've been kidnapped, and those videos are then sent to family members in an attempt to extort them.
Police say if you're contacted by someone claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate or Chinese Police who are asking for personal or financial information, call their non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.