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Canada Third virtual kidnapping reported in Vancouver

19:26  14 june  2018
19:26  14 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Unlike traditional abductions, virtual kidnappers have not actually kidnapped anyone. In addition, many victims do not report the crime, either because they are embarrassed, afraid, or because they don’t consider the financial loss to be significant.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating the city’s third “ virtual kidnapping ” case of the year. Police in Alberta, Winnipeg, Halifax and Peterborough have also reported incidences of the same scam.

Vancouver police say a student from China has fallen victim to a so-called virtual kidnapping scheme, the third reported in the city this year.

In a virtual kidnapping, Sgt. Jason Robillard says no one is being held against their will, but the victims are contacted by suspects claiming to be Chinese police, and convinced to assist with an investigation in that country.

In the latest case, Robillard says a woman was told she was implicated in a money laundering investigation in China and was threatened with arrest unless she transferred Chinese funds to cover police and court costs.

She paid through a Bitcoin automated teller machine, but continued to be threatened unless she sent more money and provided compromising photos.

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Police are investigating the third " virtual kidnapping " reported in Vancouver this year, and warning the public to be wary of similar scams. Officers said Wednesday that the most recent case involves a young woman in her early 20s from Mainland China.

Vancouver police are warning foreign students to be wary of an elaborate scheme they've dubbed virtual kidnapping . There were 20 such crimes reported in 2017 in Vancouver alone. And in 2018, another two were recently reported .

Those photos were then sent to the woman's family members in China, who believed she had been kidnapped and they paid additional money.

Robillard wants to remind foreign students that Chinese police cannot arrest them in Canada and anyone who is frightened should contact Canadian authorities.

"These deplorable crimes are having a huge impact on these young, trusting students, and their families. We need to make sure people are aware to prevent them from continuing," Robillard said in a news release.

Police believe the suspects are not in Canada and it remains unclear how their victims are chosen.

Police received 20 reports of similar extortion attempts in Vancouver in 2017.

Detectives from the city's major crime section continue to work with Chinese officials and other police agencies to track the offenders, Robillard said.

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