The pandemic had resulted in a halt over everyone’s education, careers, livelihoods, but for the fraudsters in Sydney. These grifters have a fresh way to make their living now, and they chose the Chinese students who’ve been stranded in the unknown land, away from their homes as their new means of income.

The process they follow as these scam artists after choosing their victims, they tend to blackmail them to release sensitive information. In order to avoid that the victims are forces to stage their own kidnapping and make the abduction seem genuine and send this recording as a proof to their relatives in China which will help them obtain the ransom. They deliver the messages to thousands of random phone numbers purporting to be from a messenger service. It is a robocalls and says a package needs to be delivered.

On Tuesday, the police in New South Wales confirmed of eight such cases had occurred with ransom one case confirmed that the family paid $2 million and in others the price range was between a few thousand dollars to more than $200,000, of kidnapping which never took place. A young, 21-year old woman was a victim of such a scam. The video she sent to her family in China seemed genuine to them where the student seemed to be in pain and pleaded for their help in an unreleased location in Australia. A few hours later the female’s housemate information the police in Sydney on July 14, she was found be safe at a hotel where she lured by the perpetrators.

The victims in Australia return calls from someone who greets in Mandarin and ask for their basic identity information or that they have been implicated in a crime in China as the person claims to be speaking from the Chinese Government or the Chinese embassy or some other authority. In some cases, the students were also persuaded to not to contact their families for days in order to root a possibility that the student might in danger.

What seemed unusual to the police that after the ransom was paid, the victims were found safe and sound the very next day. The reason the affected students did not report this crime was that they felt ashamed of reporting it in the first place, still traumatised and frightened of the fact that their information might be leaked or that their parents won’t spare them.

"The victims of virtual kidnappings we have engaged are traumatised by what has occurred, believing they have placed themselves, and their loved ones, in real danger," said NSW Police.

According to the advocate for the international students in Australia, made a statement where the person assured that the international students have been the most vulnerable amidst this unfortunate situation. The reason of this he claimed to be was the student’s reliance on casual work and their exclusion from the government welfare.

"Students can do two important things to protect themselves against these types of crimes - firstly, be aware they exist and secondly, ask for help early if they think it might be happening to them or someone they know," advised the NSW Police.

Now there also have been new reports from New Zealand and the United States.

Ambitious, young aspirants, striving to achieve their dreams move away from the comfort of their own homes and set foot in a foreign land to start their journey. The very experience traumatizes a few, not knowing how to deal with it or whom to turn into for help. It is unfortunate to see such bilks are reprobates are on the lookout for such naïve persons to make their living through them. The Government should stringent the laws and take firm actions.

#coronavirus  #sydney  #kidnapping  #virtualkidnapping  #chinesestudents  #internationalstudents  #australia