Union Co. Man’s Facebook Page Is Hacked; Dozens Scammed Out Of Money
UNION CO., N.C. – Hackers targeted a Union County man’s e-mail account and Facebook page, tricking dozens of people into buying items, he supposedly listed for sale.
“Saturday, I woke up and my girlfriend called me and said, um, ‘why did you put that post up there?’ And I said, ‘what are you talking about?’ And she goes, it says you’re moving, and it’s got 39 items for sale,” says victim Robbie Clark.
Clark just got his Facebook page back on Tuesday, after three days of dealing with the scammers.
First, they made a post, listing things like a freezer for $100 and dressers for $250.
Then, the hacker posted bulldog puppies, advertising them as “free,” but later asking for a $1,500 rehoming fee.
Suddenly, people started showing up at Clark’s house, to pick up what they supposedly bought.
“People were coming up in pickup trucks and trailers. And I would just walk out to the front yard, and I’d just say, ‘hey guys I’m sorry, it’s a scam, how much did he get you for?'” Clark says.
Clark says the scammers direct messaged with up to 30 victims, using Facebook Messenger, and made them pay in advance using apps like Venmo and Cash App.
They trusted the hacker, because that person also got into Clark’s e-mail account.
“He got into my email, stole a picture that I sent from my daughter for some college stuff that I had to verify, so to make the people feel comfortable, he would send them my ID, like who I am, here’s my house, here’s my number, here’s everything you need,” Clark says.
Clark says Union County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating.
They say, if you end up being victim to a fraudulent online purchase, try to stop payment on your credit or debit card, and inform local law enforcement.
“Once the report is made to law enforcement, law enforcement can work with the local banks to try and determine who’s running these scams, where that money’s going, and try to stop these people from taking people’s hard earned money,” says Lt. James Maye, with the Union Co. Sheriff’s Office.
Maye says be wary of deals like the ones posted on Clark’s Facebook page.
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is not true. If it’s an item that’s priced less than half what it’s worth, it’s probably a scam,” Maye says.
As for getting control of his account, Clark says Facebook wasn’t any help and was difficult to contact.
He was eventually able to go in and reset his password before the hacker could change it again.
“There were so many victims, and my heart goes out to these people,” Clark says.
He suspects the hacker could be in Nigeria, because that’s where Facebook shows as one of his last login locations.
So, how can you protect your social media accounts?
Experts say watch out for links posted by people you don’t know. You could be accidently giving hackers access to your account.
Also, even though it’s a hassle, be sure to change your password often.
And cybersecurity expert Emory Simmons says consider using two-factor authentication.
“Anytime you’re on the Internet and you have the opportunity to have a second factor for logging-in, do it. It’s worth it. It is totally worth it. It will help you protect yourself from somebody guessing your password, and you know, people are not really very good at making up passwords,” Simmons says.
WCCB Charlotte reached out to Facebook for a comment or statement about these types of potential hacks, but have not heard back.