CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A Cherokee County couple says a con artist called SWAT on them when they refused to fall for his scam.
It happened Monday afternoon in Canton.
The victims say the scammer claimed to be with the IRS and demanded $2,600. When they refused, he said he would call police on them.
When they hung up, that’s exactly what he did, claiming there was an active shooter inside the victims’ home.
“I mean, it could've been a totally different scenario, and believe me, it's frightening,” said the homeowner, who did not want to be identified.
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He says he’s still worried that if a vindictive scam artist went so far as to do that, he could do something else.
"It's horrifying to know that you can be in your own house, and something like that can happen over a scam," he told Channel 2's Richard Elliot.
In 911 calls, you can hear the alleged scammer telling the dispatcher he’s the victim’s son and that there was an active shooter in the house.
“Yes, right now. That’s why I call. It’s very urgent,” the man says.
Cherokee County deputies, with their guns drawn, surrounded the house as the 911 operator tried to get more information.
“I have more than one or two officers. I've got about five officers outside of your house, and I need you to step out the door,” she said to the man. %
The homeowner says deputies spotted his wife out back and quickly realized it was all a hoax.
Deputies say it’s a dangerous situation for law enforcement and citizens.
“Their adrenaline is flowing pretty hard, and you just don't know what's going to happen so it's very dangerous,” Lt. Jay Baker said.
Investigators believe the call may have come from somewhere inside India so they admit that there's very little, if anything, they can do.
“I just hope there’s some way to put a stop to it before some innocent people get hurt,” the homeowner said.
Cox Media Group