Virtual kidnapping scam in Winnipeg

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(Sandeep Verma) #1

Winnipeg Police have received reports of virtual kidnapping scams happening in Winnipeg.

The scam, known as virtual kidnapping, has been around for a number of years, but just this month, Winnipeg Police said two reports of these frauds were brought forward in the city.

Winnipeg Police said an FBI website described the scam as an extortion scheme which tricks the victim in to paying a ransom to free a loved one who they are made to believe is being threatened with violence or death.

Officers said typically the kidnapping threat is in reference to someone who is out of the country.

The scam is that no one has been kidnapped, but victims are threatened and coerced to believe they have been, and quickly pay a ransom.

The two reports Winnipeg Police received were from January 9 and January 10.

Officers said in both cases the victim wired funds to an out-of-country area code.

The amounts sent were less than $5,000.