Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith warned residents about scam attempts during a recent interview on the KBEK morning show.
Smith said reports have come in about victims being scammed out of a significant amount of money due to a malicious computer pop-up.
"You get a pop-up on your computer that says your computer's been locked by Microsoft or Apple, it could be any of these," Smith said. "It's not, but they want you to click on a link or they want you to call a number, and they will, you know, fix your computer for you. Well, now they've just taken control of your computer, and now they have you."
According to Smith, victims are told to pay using cryptocurrency because it’s difficult for law enforcement officials to track.
Smith urged residents not to interact with suspicious pop-ups, and to visit a local computer expert if they need tech support. Other local agencies have also fielded similar scam reports.
Listen to the full interview on the KBEK On-Demand podcast.