COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 16-year-old Conyers youth and charged him with three felonies in connection with allegedly hacking into credit card information associated with the gaming system Xbox LIVE.
"This 16-year-old hacked into an Xbox LIVE fellow gamer's mom's credit card information and purchased games on his system," said NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Courtney Morrison.
In order to be able to play games on the Xbox LIVE system with fellow gamers around the world, a gamer has to subscribe to the service and a credit card must be kept on file.
Morrison said between the middle of October and the end of November, charges were made on the credit card account of the mother of a 10-year-old Newton County girl who is a gamer.
The mother complained to the NCSO of fraudulent use of her credit card and when investigators looked at the charges they were able to see they were all made by a person identified with a certain gamer tag, or name.
"The daughter recognizes the name and sends an instant message to the gamer tag in reference to credit card purchases," Morrison explained. "She then begins receiving threatening messages from the gamer, threatening physical harm to the girl as well as her friends and family."
Morrison said investigators were then able to identify through the use of IP addresses and other evidence the 16-year-old Conyers male with whom the 10-year-old gamed frequently as the source of the credit card charges and thefts.
The suspect's name was not released due to his status as a juvenile. He faces charges of false statements to law enforcement officers, terroristic threats and identity theft, all felonies. Morrison said other charges could be forthcoming as investigators are looking into the possibility that more accounts could have been hacked.