Edmonton police are warning the public about a virtual kidnapping scheme targeting female Chinese students in Alberta and British Columbia.
Police said people posing as Chinese government officials or law enforcement would call young female students and tell them they have been implicated in crimes in China.
They would then threaten to harm their family if they do not go into hiding, and convince them that contacting Canadian law enforcement would see them deported.
Once the victims were hiding, the scammers would contact their family and demand money in exchange for their release.
RCMP became aware of the telephone scam in lower mainland British Columbia last July.
Edmonton police Sgt. Kevin Harrison said while no incidents have been reported in Edmonton, police are concerned the scam could be already occurring in the city.
“We want the Chinese community to know that they can contact police and that we are able to help,” he said.