The NSW Police Force is urging the community to be on high alert for ‘virtual kidnapping’ scams, that continue to target international students across the state.

Three incidents of virtual kidnapping have been referred to the NSW State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, in the month of October already.

It’s a crime mainly targeted at Chinese students. The caller, usually speaking Mandarin and claiming to be a representative from a Chinese Authority, convinces the victim that they have been implicated in a crime, in China, or that their identity has been stolen and that they must pay a fee to avoid legal action, arrest, or deportation.

In some instances, victims are convinced to fake their own kidnappings and to send family members’ photos and video of themselves in a fake kidnapping scenario, known as a ‘virtual kidnapping’.

Police say, this crime has netted scammers millions of dollars, not only in NSW, but around the world.

Produced By: Rodney Monk

Featured In Story: Professor Richard Buckland, Professor of Cybercrime, Cyberwar and Cyberterror at the School of Computer Science and Engineering UNSW

First aired on The Wire, Wednesday, 18 October 2023