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17-year-old Kai Zhuang, a Chinese exchange student, was reportedly found freezing in a tent in Utah after being reported missing by his high school. He was found by police after being a victim of a so-called “cyber-kidnapping.”

Zhuang was initially thought to have been kidnapped, but it was later revealed that he and his family fell victim to cyber-kidnapping.

According to Cybernews, in cyber-kidnapping situations the adversaries will demand that victims isolate themselves, making it appear as though they’re being held captive, and then the criminals will use this to extort the victim’s family. This scheme often targets foreign exchange students, and their families follow orders for fear of being harmed, as reported by the police.

Zhuang’s parents contacted his school after receiving a ransom photo of their son following which they sent $80,000 to a bank account in China. This was apparently after they received “continuous threats from the kidnappers.”

The police reports that Zhuang purchased camping equipment and had attempted a camping trip while not disclosing his situation to the police or his hosting family, and was still under the control of the unknown cyber-kidnappers. The teen then isolated himself in a tent at a campsite in the mountains near Brigham City, where he was found “alive but very cold and scared.”

Police reports that “the victim had no heat source inside the tent, only a heat blanket, a sleeping bag, limited food and water, and several phones that were presumed to be used to carry out the cyber kidnapping.”

The investigation into this cyber-kidnapping is still ongoing, and police authorities urge anyone who has fallen victim to cyber-kidnapping to eliminate contact, avoid sending funds, and contact the police.