Australia An 18-year-old girl was convinced by the fraudster that they were the Chinese police and she had to hide.
New South Wales (NSW) state police this week revealed a fraudulent abduction aimed at Chinese students.
The 18-year-old girl was also persuaded by those guys.
Police said two strangers stayed together for 8 days in the apartment.
The people who forced her to send the text messages claiming to be the Chinese authorities, asking relatives to send money to let her be released.
No victims were beaten or in danger.
NSW Police said the scam uncovered this September was one of nine reported in the state this year, with the amount being defrauded nearly $ 3.5 million.
They said both the girl and the man did not even know it was a scam until they were found by police.
"It looks like these scammers are still active and looking for vulnerable individuals in the community who are far away from home," said Darren Bennett, chief investigative officer of the NSW police.
"In this case, we were told that fraudsters started contacting the girl in July via emails of people claiming to be Chinese police, saying her personal information had been used.
"The guys behind this 'virtual kidnapping' scam are constantly adapting the script and methodology to take advantage of people's confidence in the government."
It is estimated that the virtual kidnapping scams globally have caused billions of dollars in damage.
According to Lennon Chang, a professor of criminology at Monash University, these scams have been around for nearly 30 years.
They often say that their passport or visa has a problem, or that they are under investigation in connection with a package, before announcing they must report to another official to confirm more information.
The victim is gradually convinced that the only way to deal with the problem is to take a photo of the kidnapped self to ensure that the relative will pay the ransom.
Victoria Police once reported on the "virtual kidnapping" scams, saying that this year there has not been any.
"The scammers can be very aggressive, they may have threatened to scare the victim," said Victoria police spokesman.
According to a June report by the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission, phone calls related to spoofing "Chinese authorities" were among the five categories of fraud reported last year.
In 2019, there were nearly 1,200 scams up to $ 2 million, according to the Australian federal government's Scamwatch website.
Police say fraud like this appeared in Australia five years ago.
Since 2018, the police have been more open about scams to warn, but rare cases are prosecuted and cooperation with the Chinese side has yet to improve.