Wednesday, February 17, 2010


As some of you are aware, I have been the victim on Facebook of a hacker.  It is called a money transfer phishing scam.  Yesterday morning I got a call from a friend to let me know that she had received an instant message on Facebook purporting to be me mugged and stranded in England and asking for financial assistance.  Quite a few of my FB friends received the same message from the hacker pretending to be me.   I hope they all realized that #1, I was not in England and #2, I certainly wouldn't be asking them to wire money to me.  Some of the FB friends are actually blogger friends, whom I have never actually met.

I immediately changed my password, but within a few hours Facebook closed down my account (as if it were MY fault) and are totally unresponsive about reinstating it.  If you will notice, Facebook does not post any contact number or e-mail if you need to get in touch with them.  I finally filled in a form which was directed to someone -- all I received was a standard canned reply.  I did a google search and learned that this is what Facebook does.  They deactivate accounts and then are unresponsive about reinstating them.

According to a recent  article on CNN's online report, "Seventy percent more companies reported spam and malicious infections arrived via social networks in 2009 vs. 2008.  By the end of last year, 72% of companies expressed concern that their employees' use of poular social sites could result in a security breach.  And 60% of companies now consider Facebook to be the riskiest social network out there."  In addition, Facebook has new privacy settings that are opening members' information up to more cybercriminals.

I did not have a lot of "friends" on Facebook, I did not play the games, I was cautious.  And still I was victimized.

While waiting for Facebook to allow me access to my account, I opened another account.  However, as I sat and pondered the enormity of it, I stopped.  Do I really want to do this again?  I miss my Facebook.  I miss the running commentary of messages between old classmates reunited through FB.  I miss my pictures. I miss knowing what people are doing.  But I am just plain ANGRY at Facebook for being unresponsive and unhelpful.  So for now, I am giving up on it.

One interesting note is that I had been receiving anonymous messages here on my blog which led me to moderate my comments and require registration to leave a comment.  My blog address is mentioned on my Facebook.  Is there a connection?


Lynne said...

I hope you come back to Facebook. It's so nice to keep in touch with our old classmates.

I've never had any problems with hackers, but I think I'm going to change my password just in case.

Jo said...

I am so glad to see that you made it home from England. seriously though, I was thinking of taking up a collection for you to get home. I asked several questions like "Have you reported it to the police?" "Have you been in contact with the US Embassy" "Could you contact your bank through your hotel and make some sort of money transfer to cover your Hotel fees?". These people were really good they had an answer for all of my questions. I was still apprehensive just for the fact that had you actually gone to England you would have posted it.

I had no idea that Face Book closed your account, I thought you had done that. I am seriously giving thought to closing mine though. The conversation that I had with the hacker was really scary when I stopped to give it some thought. I had no clue I was chatting with a hacker until you notice popped up. This person was really good at what they do.

Now that you mention it, I have had a big increase of spam in my comments too and I have my blog address posted on my profile too. I will keep my blog going even if I do close Face Book.

I am just glad that your friend was as curious as I was about your unannounced trip to England and was able to contact you.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I understand why you're so upset, Kristina. I'm sorry FB is being so unhelpful.

I suspect that hackers have tried to compromise my account too, so I change my password often. I love the interaction with my friends on FB and also the games I play on there, so I'd hate to have to give it up. Guess I'll cross that bridge if/when I come to it.

I'll miss you on FB and hope you can reopen your account later, if you decide that's what you want to do.

Happy weekend!

Love and hugs,


Char5 said...

I am so sorry that you had problems with Facebook. I really enjoy visiting there and have been re-connected with so many old friends. If you go back, you might want to change your password on a regular basis. I had one other friend that fell victim to the same phishing scheme. I changed my password right after this happened to her and I am trying to change it once a month or so, now. I hate that bad people always have to spoil everything for those of us that just want to have some fun in life.
Hugs from WV,

Willow said...

So far, I haven't had problems online, just a few spams in our inboxes. But I will certainly be careful. What a mess for you, huh? And how mean of hackers to cause all this!

Mountain Mama said...

What a disappointment! I would have thought Facebook would be more understanding and helpful.
I hope it will all get straightened out. They need to appologize to you.

Jess said...

I have no clue about all that...I am finally back to blogging and thought I'd come by...I do hope all is resolved and that facebook will contact you!

Have a great day

love, Jess

Theresa said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice note. I am sorry you had such a bad experience with fb. I love seeing all the artwork my fb "friends" come up with. Here's to hankies in square boxes, memories do keep the past from ebbing away. I am now following your lovely blog.
Theresa @ Cottage Violets