Michael Lorber victim of kidnapping scam

Extortionists demanded ransom, claimed they would kill broker's brother

TRD New York /
Jan.January 15, 2015 04:57 PM

Michael Lorber, a Douglas Elliman broker and son of the firm’s chairman Howard Lorber, revealed that he was nearly tricked by scammers who claimed they had kidnapped his brother and would kill him unless they received a ransom .

Lorber received a call at his office in December demanding that he pay $2,000 to save his brother Brian’s life. The callers claimed that they had seized Brian and would kill him, the New York Post reported.

[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] “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.” [/vision_pullquote]

“It was the worst experience of my life,” Lorber said. “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.”

Lorber started to head to an ATM, but slipped a note to an office aide on the way out asking to call Brian at his office.

“Thankfully, he was in his office and he was fine,” Lorber recalled. “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 FBI and NYPD recently issued a public alert warning about this increasingly common type of scam.

Lorber is also a former star of “Million Dollar Listing NY.” [NYP] — Tess Hofmann


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