Chinese student in S'pore rescued after scammers kidnap him & demand S$500,000 ransom

The student flew to Cambodia under the scammers' instructions.

Paul Rin | June 14, 2023, 04:11 PM

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In a WeChat post reminding its citizens about the perils of scam callers, the Chinese embassy shared a cautionary tale that happened in early June this year.

A Chinese national studying at a Singapore art college received a phone call from people claiming to be government officials on Jun. 2. According to The Straits Times, the student was told they were wanted by the authorities.

Following the scammers’ instructions, the student bought air tickets to Cambodia’s Sihanoukville, where the scammers, now also kidnappers, abducted them.

The kidnappers then sent video footage of the student to his parents and demanded over S$500,000 in ransom money.

The Chinese embassy in Singapore was alerted to the incident on Jun. 4.

Working together with Singaporean and Cambodian authorities around the clock, they managed to rescue the student on Jun. 5.

The student is reported to be unharmed, and no financial loss was incurred by the family.

In their statement, the Chinese embassy also listed guidelines to avoid falling for such scam calls:

  1. Authorities will not ask for personal information over the phone.
  2. Incoming calls prefixed with “+[foreign country code]” and “+65” are likely to be fraudulent.
  3. Stay in touch with your family and loved ones to prevent falling for impersonation schemes. Never reveal any important and personal information like your address or financial records on any channels you don't trust.
  4. In the event you suspect you’ve fallen victim to a scam, contact the relevant authorities at once.

If you suspect that you're the victim of a scam, you can contact the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688. It operates from Mondays to Fridays, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Top photo from Unsplash