ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A terrifying and dangerous scam is going around metro Atlanta. It's more realistic than most, and struck fear into the heart of one man.
Graham Berg was out with his family playing Frisbee golf when his phone rang. The number for his brother, Lee, popped up. But when Graham answered, it was a stranger's voice.
"He said I've got your brother, I'm on the run, I need some money and he told me to call you," said Graham.
The man on the phone, who has seemingly called from his brother's phone, said he had kidnapped Lee. Then he started making demands. The caller told Graham to go to a bank, withdraw as much money as he could, then go to CVS and buy gift cards.
"He said if you don't follow my directions, I'm going to kill him," said Graham.
Terrified, yet suspicious, Graham asked to speak to his brother.
"He said, you want to hear his voice, get the hammer, and he acted like he was hitting someone with a hammer, and I could tell the screams were not my brother," said Graham.
At the same time, Graham was testing Lee's wife and found out Lee was with her. He was safe. He had not been kidnapped.
"I think I'd be pretty nervous if I was on the other end of that call," said Lee.
The Brothers say they can understand how people could fall for this. The scammers spoof a loved one's phone number, identify family members, call them, quickly make demands as they get more aggressive by the minute and send the loved ones into a panic.
"We have so much personal information on the internet, it doesn't take much for someone to piece together the links between family members and profiles on the internet, it's definitely a little scary," said Lee.
Fox 5 has also learned of a very similar scam that happened to another family over the weekend. If it happens to you, report it.
Lee called the police and filed a complaint with the FCC.