Police investigating virtual kidnapping and are warning the public about these types of scams

The North Vancouver RCMP are investigating a virtual kidnapping and are warning the public of these types of scams.

A North Vancouver man received a phone call from someone claiming that he had kidnapped the man’s wife. The caller demanded a ransom be paid or his wife would be harmed. The caller specifically requested an etransfer for the payment. A female could be heard in the background of the call pretending to be his wife. The call appeared to be coming from his wife’s phone, which caused further panic.

This type of scam, known as virtual kidnapping, attempts to trick family members into believing that a loved one has been kidnapped and may be harmed if they do not pay a ransom. To make this believable, the fraudsters may order you to not answer your phone or make contact with family, friends, or the police.

Our officers worked quickly to locate the victim’s spouse ensuring her safety. It was determined that the kidnapping was a hoax and the fraudsters had used technology to make the victim think the call was coming from his wife’s personal phone, Said Cst. Mansoor Sahak of the North Vancouver RCMP.

We treat these types of investigations as serious until such time we have information that it’s not a real kidnapping. These investigations are complex and draw in a lot of resources, Said Cst. Mansoor Sahak.

What to do if you receive a call:

  • Do not comply with the caller’s demands.
  • Hang up the phone and report the incident to your local police.
  • Never give out personal information over the telephone.
  • Warn your loved ones about this elaborate fraud.

Call 911 in an emergency

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