by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
Scammers kept a Decatur man on the phone for hours threatening to kill his brother if he didn’t pay them.
“They say if you say anything to anyone around you or even hint something is going wrong, we are going to hang up the phone, shoot him in the leg and we are going to call you back and let you know how much pain he is in,” said Wayne Pelletier.
Pelletier said he received the phone call on Friday, at his Buckhead office. The callers claimed that Pelletier’s brother had gotten into an accident, with one of them, and they were holding his brother hostage until he paid them money. They claimed they were illegally in the U.S., and gang members.
“It put me in such an emotional state, I don’t think I was capable of thinking rationally,” Pelletier said.
Pelletier, who says he was on the phone for four hours with the crooks, and ended up wire transferring them about $1,500.
“They knew there was a Publix down the street from where I worked, they knew there was a Western Union,” said Pelletier.
Channel 2 Action News researched the numbers the scammers used, and found dozens of complaints.
“This is something that throughout the country, we are seeing a little bit more and more of,” said Officer John Chafee, with the Atlanta Police Department. “Verify information, slow things down, and take a look at what you are being told.”
According to an Atlanta police report, the same number called a local teacher, and a man told her he was holding her husband hostage and was going to beat him with a baseball bat if she did not do what he said. The man then put another man on the phone who was crying hysterically acting like he was her husband.
Police are advising citizens to be aware of this call, and let authorities know about what happened.