Virtual kidnapping scam scares Georgia man

- It was a convincing phone call concerning the abduction of a woman. Her husband was so convinced he called the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

The call to Donald Olsen started with a seemingly frantic woman on the line.

“She said Donny there’s somebody here and that’s the name Nancy calls me. How do you think they knew your nickname? That I don’t know,” said Olsen.

The call to Olsen’s cell phone came from a restricted number where Olsen said a menacing sounding man with a Hispanic sounding voice also came on the line.

“He told me I have your wife. He says what are you going to give me. He says you think this is a game. He says I will hurt her,” said Olsen.

He said he received the call while shopping in downtown Newnan with a friend Tuesday afternoon. She called 911 which led to an immediate response from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

“Mr Olsen's call was so convincing to us in part because he himself was convinced his wife had been taken hostage,” said Lt. Jason Fetner.

Lt Jason Fetner said SWAT surrounded the home as Donald Olsen arrived to hand over a key to a member of the SWAT team who carefully entered.

“It was just like you see on TV, the guy had a big shield and he’s walking down the hallway, one cop on each side, and they had flashlights that really light up,” said Nancy Olsen.

She said she thought the law enforcement outside her home was in response to a traffic accident.

Nancy Olson, who is bed bound from Multiple Sclerosis, told FOX 5 News she was never in any danger and later took a call from her husband.

The sheriff’s office said the Olsen’s were targeted in a what’s known as the virtual kidnapping scam. They suspect the same man tried to scam two others who also reported similar calls in recent days.

“The language that was used, involving this isn’t a game, do you think we are playing, that same language was used in that call,” said Lt. Fetner.

He said the virtual kidnapping scam originated out west and is showing up in Georgia now.

Lt. Fetner said it’s different from other scams because fear and the welfare of a loved are motivating factors.

It almost worked on the Olsen’s who’ve been married nearly four decades.

“He’s got my back and I got his, don’t mess with us,” said Nancy Olsen.

The sheriff’s office said none of the three potential victims sent any money or responded to the scammer.

The Olsen’s said they went public so others won’t be victimized by the virtual kidnapping scam.

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