Authorities Warn Chinese Foreign Students Of “Virtual Kidnap” Scam
VIRTUAL KIDNAP – Criminals from China targeted Chinese students from Australia in their latest scam, coercing them to fake their own abductions.
Apparently, scammers have used the pandemic as a gateway to new forms of crime, utilizing technology. This time, the scammers trick students into faking their own kidnapping to trick families overseas to pay ransoms. According to an article from Inquirer, police had eight incidents of virtual kidnapping with a total payout of $2.3 million.
The scammers call the victims posing as a local Chinese official. Then, they would warn the students that they had been implicated in a crime in China. Afterward, they are told that a fee must be paid to avoid legal action, arrest, or deportation.
Additionally, these scammers would also tell the poor victims to cut ties with their family and friends, rent a room, and photograph/video themselves tied-up or blindfolded. Next, the scammers would send the photos and videos to the victim’s relatives overseas to ask for ransom money.
As per the report, the scams are thoroughly thought through and polished which explained why victims were taken in. Furthermore, Darren Bennet, director of the crime command in New South Wales said:
We have had a spate in the last few months where pretty much every weekend we have had a victim fall for one of these scams.
We need to take into account the cultural factors and the fact that the scams are very polished.
Bennet also warned foreign students about the scam and urged them to hang-up if they received such a phone call. Afterward, he said they should immediately call police or their universities and emphasized that they should never pay any money.
Like this article? READ ALSO: BIGGEST SCAMS: Top 10 Biggest Scams In The Philippines