Saturday, January 13, 2018

News Release - Winnipeg Police Service

Winnipeg Police Service

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Public Advisory – Virtual Kidnapping

The Winnipeg Police Service would like caution the public about a scam that has surfaced recently in Winnipeg.

The scam, known as virtual kidnapping, has been around for a number of years, but until recently has not been seen locally. According to an FBI website, virtual kidnapping is an extortion scheme which tricks the victim into paying a ransom to free a loved one who they are made to believe is being threatened with violence or death. Typically the loved one is out of the country. In fact, no one has been kidnapped, but the victims are threatened and coerced to believe they have, and quickly pay a ransom.

Winnipeg Police have received 2 reports of these frauds, the first on January 9, and the second on January 10. In both cases the victim wired funds to an out-of-country area code. The amounts sent were less than $5,000.

Safeguards to prevent being a victim of this type of fraud are outlined in the FBI link; FBI Virtual Kidnapping.

If you have been targeted by this type of fraud please call the Winnipeg Police at (204) 986-6222. Fraud can also be reported online at: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre


For further information contact either:
   Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer
   Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
   Constable Tammy Skrabek, Public Information Officer
   Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs

   Phone: (204) 986-3061 | Fax: (204) 986-3267 | Email:

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