Chinese students from Australia say targets in ‘virtual kidnapping’ scam


Prof. Senior Lecturer of Criminal Justice at Monash University. “Especially for Chinese students, without any family support, they get scared when they get such information,” said Lennon Chang. “Talented criminals understand this psychological feeling and use it to lead students under the pass.”

Scammers use technology to prevent fraud. Professor Chang said that they usually present a number from the Chinese embassy from where they call, which can be found online. In some cases, they ask the victim to send a picture, or change what they find online to create an image or video that is shown to the person who is showing it to them.

Distant parents usually receive a ransom demand by phone and then send what appears to be evidence of a crime.

Worried about their children, perhaps after reading about the actual kidnapping of Chinese students in Canada and the United States, some parents in China comply. In a case from Sydney last month, a family paid 2 million Australian dollars ($ 1.4 million) to unknown offenders. In other cases, payments ranged from a few thousand dollars to over $ 200,000.

“During this period of time, with epidemics and less human contact, parents may not know that if they get this kind of message or for the student, they can contact them Will not be able to talk, whom they trust in verifying. Is this kind of message right, ”Professor Chang said. “Such segregation may create some opportunities for criminals.”

When the police have been called, they have usually been taken for only a few hours to uncover what exactly happened. But the names of the victims have rarely been publicized, and no masterminds have been identified.

On Tuesday, Australian officials reminded people that they would report anyone suspected of pretending on behalf of the Chinese government.

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