Area residents have made the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office aware of a new phone scam. The caller will contact the potential victim and tell them that they have hacked into their cellphone and have pictures and videos of the person in the bathroom, bedroom, etc. threatening to release these images online unless the person agrees to pay an ransom. The ransom is requested in the form of Bitcoin which is an online “currency” that many scammers use. The likelihood of a person actually being able to hack into your cellphone, while not impossible, is very minute. Please be aware of apps that you may download and the sources they come from, especially if you use an Android device and the Google Play Store as many of these apps are not verified and could potentially contain spyware or ransomware which could infect your phone. If you suspect that your phone has been hacked you may want to consult with your carrier to see what services they offer to check your phone for you. There have been no known reports of actual hacks in or around Alexander County and this is most likely just a scam relying on the scare tactic of privacy invasion. If you have an actual incident to this nature please report it to us so that we can investigate and educate others.