View mobile site
Follow us on
Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 | 7:15 a.m.
Hi, (not you?) | Member Center | Sign Out
Sign In | Register
Posted: 5:55 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013
OVIEDO, Fla. —
An Oviedo family said they were awakened in the middle of the night by police with guns drawn and surrounding their home.
Police said it turned out to be because of a hoax that played out over an Xbox.
Oviedo police said they've never had this type of crime happen before, but because the Xbox is connected to the Internet, and because many games have chat rooms, which can open people up to hackers.
The family did not want to be identified.
"I heard the doorbell ring," said the father. "We couldn't see anybody at the front of the door. All we saw was the rifle barrel."
The father of two said he and his wife saw what looked like an arsenal to them outside their home.
"They have rifles, they have guns, and I said, 'Let's get out of the house,' so we ran down the hallway and got our two boys up."
He said that he thought his family was being robbed at gunpoint.
What the family had yet to realize was that the people outside were Oviedo police officers and that they were the victims of a hoax that started with the Xbox.
Moments before, an Oviedo teen from another home, had called police claiming his gaming system had been hacked.
"The people that had hacked into the account were requesting that he provide them some gaming information," said Lt. Mike Beavers of the Oviedo Police Department.
When the teen refused, the hackers sent fake online messages to police reporting a hoax crime, said authorities.
"[They were] claiming to be inside a house where a family member had been killed and other family members were being held hostage," said Beavers.
The messages led police to the teen's former address, which was where the Xbox was still registered and where the family who had an encounter with police now lives.
"And we were told to freeze and put our hands over our heads," said the father. "They said, 'We're the police,' so that was a big relief."
Police said the suspects' IP addresses are from two different states, and they may not be able to arrest them because it's hard to prove who was doing the actual hacking.
Police said people can avoid those kinds of incidents by changing the control settings and only allowing certain people to contact you on your Xbox.
© 2013 Cox Media Group. By using this website,
Already have an account? Sign In
We have sent you a confirmation email. Please check your email and click on the link to activate your account.
We look forward to seeing you frequently. Visit us and sign in to update your profile, receive the latest news and keep up to date with mobile alerts.
Don't worry, it happens. We'll send you a link to create a new password.
We have sent you an email with a link to change your password.
We've sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.
To sign in you must verify your email address. Fill out the form below and we'll send you an email to verify.
Check your email for a link to verify your email address.