Waterloo Regional Police are warning the public of an extortion scam targeting international Chinese students at post-secondary institutions in the region.
Since October 2022, officers from Waterloo Regional Police Service have been investigating two reported incidents. The financial loss to the victims has totalled approximately $245,000, police said in a release.
The extortion scam involves fraudsters contacting the victim through an automated phone message impersonating Chinese officials. The fraudsters often advise the victim that they have been linked to crimes in China in order to coerce the victim into a series of actions, including, in some cases, pretending to have been a victim of a crime, such as a kidnapping. The victims are threatened that failure to take these actions would result in their arrest or harm to their families.
At the same time, the victim’s family in China is contacted by the fraudsters claiming to be Chinese officials and told that the victim is in danger, leading to a demand for money to ensure their safety.
The investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.
5:06 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a break and enter at the vacant former Riverside PS building on William Street in Elmira. Sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. that day, an unknown suspect entered the school by breaking a window. Once inside, a fire alarm was pulled and multiple fire extinguishers were emptied. Anyone with information is asked to call police. Anonymous information can be submitted via Crime Stoppers.
11:30 AM | An officer with the Wellington County OPP was patrolling along Metcalfe Street in Elora and observed a vehicle with possibly stolen license plates attached to it. Officers stopped the vehicle and as a result of the investigation, a 28-year-old of Elmira man is facing multiple charges, including ‘operation while impaired,’ ‘failure or refusal to comply with demand,’ ‘operation while prohibited under the criminal code,” ‘possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000’ and ‘operate a motor vehicle without insurance.’ The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Guelph on April 14.
6:09 AM | A collision occurred at Herbert and Church streets in Elmira. Those involved attended the Collision Reporting Centre, so there was no police response to the scene.
4:02 PM | Police received a report of a theft from a motor vehicle in Wilmot Township. About 2:45 a.m. the previous morning, an unknown male entered an unlocked vehicle parked in the driveway of a home on Dundee Avenue and stole property. Anyone with information is asked to call police. Anonymous information can be submitted via Crime Stoppers.
7:30 PM | Wellington County OPP responded to a single-vehicle collision on Fourth Line, Centre Wellington. Initial reports indicated that a grey sedan had left the roadway at a bridge closure barricade and entered a creek. It was also reported that three parties exited the vehicle and fled the area on foot. Police, Centre Wellington Fire Rescue, and Guelph Wellington Paramedics Service attended the scene and could not locate the occupants. Investigation discovered that the vehicle, a grey four-door Volkswagen Jetta, had been stolen out of the Region of Peel. Anyone that may have information related to the incident is asked to call 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.
1:20 PM | Wellington County OPP received a report of theft of a vehicle from a residence on Fourth Line, Guelph/Eramosa. It was reported that sometime after 12 a.m., unknown person(s) stole a red Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck with Ontario licence plate BT22392. Any person with information regarding this person should contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.