Scammers call 911 on victims when they wouldn't pay up

PINCKNEY, MICH. - Police say scam artists called 911 on a Michigan family after they wouldn't pay up -- a new twist to all-too-familiar phone scams that people all across the country report facing. 

Justin Shapley says it to happened his parents on Monday at their home in Pinckney. The scam artist called his step-father and said he missed a federal grand jury appearance in Washington -- where Shapley's step-father was from -- and threatened to arrest him. 

The scammers demanded $1,500 and Shapley says his step-father even wired over some of the money before he got suspicious.

When the scam artists called back the next morning for the rest of the money, Shapley's step-father said no. The scammers became irate, and in retaliation, called 911 saying a woman at the home was being held hostage. The Livingston County Sheriff's Office took the call very seriously and surrounded the home.

Not knowing what was going on, and thinking it was the scammers -- Shapley said his mom called 911 to report the harassment, however authorities were already there and demanding they come outside.

"It's one thing to try and extort them," Shapley said. "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."

The Livingston County Sheriff's Office is now investigating, but say tracking down these scam artists could be tough to do.

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