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.