Saanich Police investigating ‘virtual kidnapping’ scheme

Saanich Police investigating 'virtual kidnapping' scheme
File Photo
Saanich Police say they are investigating a

Saanich Police say they are investigating an elaborate extortion scheme that they are calling a “virtual kidnapping.”

According to police, they were tipped off to the scheme when they were called to assist with an in-progress event on Oct. 23.

Police say a family in Saanich were contacted and made to believe that their loved one was in danger. The family quickly contacted local police, which Saanich Police say was “instrumental in thwarting this fraud attempt.”

According to S/Sgt Charles Horsley, “The victim typically receives a phone call and is convinced there is a warrant for their arrest
in China, or that Chinese police need help with an investigation.”

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

Saanich Police are reminding the public that the Chinese Police or government cannot arrest people in Canada, and any policing contact from the Chinese government will be through local police.

The Saanich Police also remind the public that Canadian or Chinese authorities will not ask people to destroy a phone, or to take photos or videos of people pretending to be the victim of a crime.

Saanich Police say that if anyone is contacted by someone claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate or Chinese Police who asks that they participate in a similar occurrence, they should contact the non-emergency police line at 250-475-4321 or reach out to local police.


Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!