CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have a warning for you about the next time you log on to your computer-- con artists who hi-jack your computer and threaten to throw you in jail unless you pay up.
It happened to Delrena Barnaby, a bright 18-year-old who’s headed to college.
She spends a lot of time of the computer, but recently something strange happened.
"So I got on the computer; at first I was on MSN looking at pictures, and then the screen turned completely black," she said.
When the screen came back there was a disturbing message and an official-looking Department of Justice seal.
"They said I had child pornography and adult obscene behavior and all this stuff on my computer and it had my address and everything on it, I was like how did they get my information," said Barnaby.
The first person she told was her mother.
"It made me feel very upset because she was upset," said Mary Troy.
Delrena read all 14 pages of the letter and when she got to the end, she knew this was a scam because the letter asked for $300 to handle the problem.
"If I pay money? That doesn't make sense; if it was the government they would just come with the SWAT team and busted down the doors and everything,” she said.
Mrs. Troy is worried about what might happen the next time her daughter logs on.
"You know no one in your home was on a child pornography site, but you wonder how they got access. We do have a WiFi router, so you wonder if someone is using your router to access this material. I'm a mom, and this is pretty disturbing."
Police say the best way to protect yourself is to independently contact the agency or business that claims you’re in trouble and don’t just write a check.