My Facebook account was hacked on Friday night. We were Skyping our daughter, when she put the screen of her phone up to the computer screen and said, “Mom, why are you friending me?”
I looked at the friend request and immediately noticed that it was from Linn Foster Freedman with no space between my first and middle names. It looked very odd to me, but apparently, did not look odd to many of my Facebook friends.
I posted on my wall in all caps that no one should accept the friend request and should block that user. Several of my savvy friends reported the impersonator to Facebook and the impersonator’s profile was taken down within 10 minutes and Facebook emailed me to let me know that the profile was taken down. It was a flurry of activity.
I am not an active participant on Facebook, but look at it and post things every once in a while. Sorry, my friends, but I really don’t follow every move you make. If my daughter hadn’t told me about the fake friend request, I would not have figured it out for days. Once I found out, I did some research and found out that it is a frequent problem.
Unfortunately, many of my Facebook friends fell for the fake and it prompted me to write this post.
This was a classic social engineering scheme. When imposters can get into Facebook accounts, they have access to all sorts of information that they might not otherwise be privy to, and can amass that information with other information to get a clear picture of people they are targeting.
So what are we to do? Some would say don’t participate in any social media accounts. That is a personal decision. If your social media account has been hacked, change your password immediately to stop any unauthorized access.
When someone friends you, look at the request closely. When I looked at the request and noticed that there was no space between my name, it looked funny and I knew it was fake. So did my daughter. But it was close enough that others missed the nuance. So look closely and make sure it doesn’t look funny. Also, obviously, make sure you actually know the person. And before you automatically say “yes,” check to see if you are already a friend of that person. If you are, it is suspect and you should reach out to the person to ask why they are sending another request.
Of course, I want to know how my account was hacked and I have sent Facebook several questions that I want answered about the incident. Facebook has not replied. I have been told by others that I will get a response when “H-E-Double hockey sticks freezes over.” I guess you get what you pay for. But isn’t my data that is being mined (including photos) worth at least a response?