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Chinese student in Singapore held captive in Cambodia for ransom after falling for scam call

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The scammers captured the student and filmed a video of his kidnapping. They promptly sent the video to the student's parents, demanding a ransom of approximately S$570,000

SINGAPORE: The Chinese embassy in Singapore has warned about a new trend of Cambodian fraudsters targeting Chinese students residing in Singapore. The embassy has urged Chinese citizens in Singapore to be cautious of telecommunications fraud in a statement released on its official WeChat account on Saturday (10 June).

The embassy revealed that a student from a local art college had fallen victim to a scammer posing as an official on 2 June. Duped by the fraudster’s instructions, the student willingly purchased a ticket and travelled to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, believing it would help him evade the authorities who were supposedly after him.

However, upon arrival, the scammers captured the student and filmed a video of his kidnapping. They promptly sent the video to the student’s parents, demanding a ransom of approximately S$570,000.

Thankfully, the authorities were alerted to the situation and acted swiftly. Through coordinated efforts between Singaporean and Cambodian police, the student was located on 5 June in Cambodia. The student was found before the family had to pay the ransom.

In light of this incident, the Chinese embassy in Singapore emphasized the importance of Chinese nationals remaining vigilant against telecom fraud. They highlighted that government departments in China and Singapore never request personal information over the phone.

Furthermore, the embassy underlined some critical indicators of fraudulent calls. If the caller ID displays a “+” for foreign calls or “+65” for local calls, Singapore telecom operators identify these as fraudulent calls. Individuals encountering such calls are advised to hang up immediately.

The authorities also reminded Chinese citizens to maintain regular contact with their families while refraining from disclosing personal information or family details to strangers. Those who fall victim to a scam are urged to report the incident to the police immediately.

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