Scammers call 911 when Pinckney man doesn't pay up, officers surround his home

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jun 06, 2017

Scam artists called 911 on a Pinckney resident who didn't comply with their demands, causing police to surround his home at gunpoint.

At 7 Action News, we inform you about scams often from phone calls, emails and internet messages that may sound legitimate, but instead come from crooks looking to take your money.

In this incident, a Pinckney man turned the scammers down and they retaliated.

Justin Shapley tells 7 Action News his step-father was the victim. He got a call on Monday from scammers, asking for money or else he would be arrested on a warrant. 

The scam artists said his step-father missed a federal grand jury in Washington, where his step dad was from.  There were multiple people on the call from someone claiming to be law enforcement to a secretary.

"The story was very real sounding and it actually had him going for a little bit,” said Shapley.

The scammers wanted $1,500 and his step-dad even wired over some of the money before he got suspicious.

When the scam artists called back Tuesday morning, he said no.

"They were irate and said, 'are you kidding?' and he said, 'yeah, I'm here at home, come and get me if you need to',” said Shapley.

That’s what they attempted to do, but not because of a warrant.

"They had called 911 and stated that that he was holding my mother hostage with a gun,” said Shapley.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office took the call very seriously. They surrounded the home and called for Shapley’s parents to get out, but Shapley’s parents thought it was still part of the scam.

"The police were calling the house repeatedly, telling my mother to come out of the house and my mother thought it was the scam artists,” said Shapley.

Shapley said his mom then called 911 to report the harassment.

"Livingston County Sheriff's said actually they are outside and you need to go outside,” said Shapley.

His parents then walked out with weapons pointed at them and law enforcement surrounding their home.

"It's one thing to try and extort them, but when you don't get your way and do something in way that's terroristic, a threat, they could have easily gotten themselves killed, because they didn't understand what was really happening outside their doors,” said Shapley.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating, but tracking down these scam artists could prove difficult.