LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – The Gregg County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public to protect their elderly family members that have become the primary target in a scam.

While on your computer, you will receive a pop-up message stating that your CPU is infected with a virus or have been hacked. The pop-up will ask you to call a phone number. Upon calling this number, the person who answers will say that he is with Microsoft and tell you that it looks as if someone from Russia has tried to hack you.

He will also tell you that his information shows that you have multiple bank accounts. The scammer will then tell you that he needs to contact your bank and will call you back telling you that the bank would not give him your information. Then the scammer will tell you that someone from your bank will be calling you in the next few minutes.

You will receive a call within this amount of time from someone claiming to be with your bank or credit union. They will tell you that you have a charge for thousands of dollars that you did not make.

The original scammer you first spoke with will call you back and tell you that you need to purchase several prepaid gift cards and put the large sums of money on them, scratch the back numbers on the card and give them to him in order to get the charges removed.

The scammer will then tell you to turn your computer off for 24 hours so that the problem can correct itself. If you have loved ones who are elders, please caution them to call family or their local law enforcement agency if they receive a call such as this.