DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Gulf Coast residents are being warned of a potential telephone scam after a Diamondhead man's computer was remotely locked by alleged scam artists.
The unidentified man reported receiving an unsolicited call from a man identifying himself as a representative of the multinational technology company Microsoft.
The caller allegedly informed the victim that his computer was in the process of being hacked. After directing the victim to perform specific functions on his computer, the caller took control of the victim's computer.
An hour later, the victim was informed that he would need to pay for a protection plan. When the victim refused, his computer was remotely locked with a password that prevented the victim from accessing his computer.
Appearing on the victim's computer screen was the telephone number (315) 407-4060, along with a box requiring an unknown password.
According to Capt. John Luther of the Diamondhead Police Department, everyone just needs to be leery of phone calls from unknown numbers.
"People just need to be aware that this scam works by convincing the user that their computer is being hacked," said Luther. "It appears that right now they're only getting the password and locking the computer. It doesn't appear that they are uploading any of the user's information from the computer, just locking it."
Luther said that this is just a twist on an old scam, stating that victims are being requested to send a money order out of the country, a known con that most people have received in their email inbox.
An Internet search of the phone number produced several websites, all of which stated similar results as the Diamondhead victim's.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of this scam or any other, officials advise that you should first file a report with your local police department. Filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center is also advised.