TORONTO – Toronto police say they believe two Chinese students reported missing this week are the victims of a scam meant to extort large sums from their families.
Police say Juanwen Zhang, 20, was last seen downtown (near Yonge and College streets) on Wednesday, while Ke “Jaden” Xu, 16, was last seen on Thursday (near Eglinton Avenue East and Midland Avenue) in the Scarborough area.
Investigators say they are concerned for the safety of the two international students.
They believe the disappearances are linked to a scam in which Chinese students are told to go into hiding and stay off social media or their relatives in China will be hurt.
The families in China are then contacted and told that the student has been kidnapped.
Police say the families are then asked to pay a large ransom.
Toronto police would give no further details about the scam, citing the ongoing investigation. But they said such rackets are not unheard of and typically target the Chinese community.