Scam Alert - Virtual kidnapping scam targeting Chinese students

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto is warning of a kidnapping scam targeting international students from China and Chinese Canadians. These incidents of telephone fraud, virtual kidnapping and extortion are happening in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. As far as we know Waterloo students have not been targeted, but we encourage students to be aware.

What you need to know: 

  • The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto wants all Chinese students to know that these phone calls are a scam.
  • It appears the consulate, or the police, is calling based on the caller ID, but the caller ID is tampered with.
  • The Chinese embassy, consulate, Interpol, courier services, or the police will rarely call an individual nor will they ask for personal information or discuss legal matters over the phone.

It is further reported that: 

  • The individuals will call pretending to be the Chinese embassy, consulate, Interpol, courier service or the police, and request personal information. They also convince students to send money by claiming the student’s credit cards and other information have been used in criminal activity, and persuade individuals to go into hiding and cut off communication with their family and friends. The individuals then convince the students’ parents to send them ransom money because the student has been “kidnapped”. 

What to do: