Digital savvy blended with old fashioned coercion has led to a new form of crime and reports suggest that the majority target of this crime seems to be Chinese students.
Earlier in July, a young woman’s parents received a video of their daughter begging for help somewhere in Australia. The daughter had been out of touch for a long time and the family considered the video to be original. Their daughter looked in pain and the ransom was fixed at a 6-figure digit.
It was only after the family deposited the amount that the family that the police found out their daughter to be safe in a hotel where she was earlier lured into.
These kinds of “Virtual kidnappings” are on the rise and the pandemic-stricken world is just making it easier for kidnappers to exploit families.
New South Wales recently reported that there have been at least 8 such cases this year.
“The victims of virtual kidnappings we have engaged are traumatized by what has occurred, believing they have placed themselves, and their loved ones, in real danger,” said Peter Thurtell, the assistant commissioner of the New South Wales police force.