Chinese Students Targeted in “Virtual Kidnapping” in AUSTRALIA

Chinese Students Targeted in “Virtual Kidnapping” in AUSTRALIA

Chinese Students Targeted in “Virtual Kidnapping” in AUSTRALIA
Photo: The Jakarta Post

Chinese students in Australia are targeted in a kidnapping scam, forcing them to massive ransoms to fraudsters.

According to a BBC report, there were eight “virtual kidnappings this year. One case included ransom payment to the scammer about $1.43 million.

Victims of virtual kidnapping are believed they or their loved ones were in danger. Further, the police from New South Wales said the scheme increased this year and operates on an “industrial scale.”

Authorities said the scam goes in a “call-center type” that operates offshore, making it hard for them to trace the culprits.

The report explains the scheme wherein fraudsters pretend to be from a Chinese embassy. They call victims and inform them that they committed a crime in China.

They usually speak in Mandarin. Later on, they will demand the student to pay ongoing fees to avoid arrest or deportation.

Further, they involve a “blitz of automated phone calls sent to anyone with a Chinese surname in the phone book.”

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They also convinced students to contact relatives and fake a hostage situation to obtain funds.

Chinese Students Targeted in “Virtual Kidnapping” in AUSTRALIA
Photo: BBC

A father in one of the cases paid $1.43 million after receiving a video of his daughter gagged and bound in an unknown location. The woman was safe and well at a hotel after an hour search of the Sydney police.

Police said victims felt too embarrassed or ashamed to report the crime.

They noted that there was a sharp increase in the past few months, where “pretty much every weekend we’ve had a victim fall for one of these scams.”