The man received a call from someone demanding $800 for the release of his brother-in-law on Thursday.
Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Richard Schultz says the man drove to Chase Bank to withdraw money. Schultz says the man passed several notes to a teller with the intention of informing the bank about the ransom.
The teller triggered the alarm.
Police took the man in custody as he walked out of the bank. He was released after they determined he was the victim of a scam. His brother-in-law was never in danger.
Schultz says Fair Lawn police received two reports of similar scam attempts later that day.
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