It's like something out of a movie!
Michael Lorber, the former star agent of Million Dollar Listing New York, is opening up about one of the scariest experiences of his life: he was the victim of a virtual kidnapping plot.
Speaking to New York Post's Page Six in Thursday's edition, Michael revealed a phony plot he was involved in last month, where extortionists claimed they were holding his brother for ransom, and demanding Michael pay them $2,000 in cash.
The details, according to Michael: the agent received a call from a blocked number in December, where the caller claimed his brother, Brian, had been in a car accident. He had been kidnapped and the callers demanded money for his safe return. If Michael didn't come forward with the ransom, Brian would be killed.
"It was the worst experience of my life," Michael told Page Six. "They told me Brian had been in a car accident, they'd kidnapped him, broken his hand, and I needed to meet them with $2,000 in cash to pay for the damage to their car. They said they had his cellphone and they'd shoot him in the head if I called him."
Michael continued: "They said I had to stay on the phone, and if I dropped the call they'd immediately shoot my brother. They said once they heard my car starting, they'd tell me where to meet with the money."
It was the worst experience of my life...they said they'd shoot my brother in the head.
How did he avoid falling prey to the scheme? Michael said he slipped a note to an assistant who called the brother on another line. "Thankfully, he was in his office and he was fine," he said. "But even when I confronted them on the phone, they still threatened to kill him. Thank God I didn't go and meet them."
The Post says this type of scheme has become so common in New York City, "the FBI and NYPD have just issued a public alert," the paper reports. "The FBI said callers try to convince a victim that a relative has been in a car accident with a member of the gang and demand a ransom, though no kidnapping has taken place."
Quoting FBI Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office, the Post reports, "'This is a scheme that takes advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in New York City.'"
Thankfully, Michael was not one of them.
[Source: New York Post]