Police siren

California student fakes her own kidnapping to con parents out of $85K: Reports

A Pasadena, CA woman was taken into police custody Wednesday for allegedly sending a photo of herself bound and gagged to her parents in a fake kidnapping scheme focused on collecting cash.

According to the Pasadena Star-News, Yimei Wang, 20, arranged to have a terrifying photo of herself restrained in a hotel room sent to her parents to scare them into sending an $85k ransom.

Wang’s mother reported the so-called abduction to authorities at around 12:08 a.m. on Wednesday from a U.S. location, after receiving phone calls from what seemed to her like kidnappers.

Wang, who is enrolled in classes at ArtCenter College of Design, communicated with her family late Tuesday during these phone calls and assured them she was safe, while also asking that the money be transferred immediately.

Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson told the Pasadena Star-News that the student’s father, located in China, had already sent the payment out of fear for his daughter’s life by the time police were contacted in the matter.

Cops quickly located Wang alone and unharmed at an area motel on Colorado Boulevard around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, though they did not reveal the tracking methods used. When they found the young woman there, “she admitted she took the picture in order to extort the family.”

“It’s unclear why she needed the money,” Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema told the paper

CBS Los Angeles reports that Wang was arrested on suspicion of extortion before posting $30,000 bail.

Clawson said that the case is currently under investigation.

[Feature Photo: Pixabay]