Hackers stole my Facebook page, then Facebook sold them ads: A cautionary tale | WHEC.com

Hackers stole my Facebook page, then Facebook sold them ads: A cautionary tale

Deanna Dewberry
Updated: August 25, 2020 11:29 PM
Created: August 25, 2020 04:44 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In consumer news, your Facebook account. I have more than 10,000 followers on my professional Facebook page. You may have noticed you haven't heard from me lately. That's because my page has been hijacked. This is a cautionary tale for consumers because what happened to me, could happen to you.

Try googling "Deanna Dewberry Journalist Facebook."

That should take you to my professional page. Instead, you get a message telling you the page isn’t there. That's because Cambodian hackers stole my page, changed my page name and the picture, changed the countries where my page can be viewed from the US to Cambodia and Vietnam, so my 10,000 U.S. followers can no longer see the page.

To do all that, they had to change the administrators of the page. They're now some fellas who call themselves Farith Salim, Dy Dy, Da Ro, and Ly Sa. Their international phone number is 855-88-930-8888. I've learned a lot about these fellas and can do nothing about it because they're an ocean and two continents away.

They write in Khmer, the language spoken in most of Cambodia. And they're using my site to hock hair care products.

We all know to be cautious when we get something through the messages portal Hackers can send links laden with malware and spyware. But we're not suspicious about messages we get under the notifications tab because the only entity that should be notifying us through notifications is Facebook.

So when I got a message under the notifications tab telling me I had violated Facebook's community standards and my account could be disabled, I got to work to fix it. I thought it possible that someone had posted objectionable material on my public page.

The so-called Facebook Security Team told me to follow the steps to secure my page, and I followed the prompts and changed my password, Then one prompt asked for my I.D. That made me suspicious, so I researched it. And according to Facebook's help section, the social media giant does ask for ID when there's suspicious activity. So I followed that prompt as well unknowingly giving thieves my identification and access to my Facebook account.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Here’s some advice from a Facebook spokesperson:

Tips on protecting your account:

1.    We offer security features to help people protect their accounts that are available 24/7 in our Help Center. Here are some recommended best practices and tips your viewers can follow to strengthen their account security and prevent being a victim of account compromise:

  1. Enable two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security for your Facebook account. If you set up two-factor authentication, you'll be asked to enter a special login code or confirm your login attempt each time someone tries accessing Facebook from a computer or mobile device we don't recognize. To see how it works, watch our video here.
  2. We also encourage you to sign up to receive alerts for unrecognized logins. These alerts will tell you which device tried logging in and where it's located.
  3. We ask that people report suspicious links or posts to us right away via our Help Center so we can review and take appropriate action: https://www.facebook.com/help/reportlinks.
  4. We also recommend that people ensure their other high value accounts are secure, such as their email accounts. Sometimes, hackers may use access to people’s emails to compromise their Facebook accounts.
  5. If you think your account may have been hacked, please visit https://www.facebook.com/hacked and you'll be guided through a step-by-step process to learn how to fix it.

But Facebook still can't answer how hackers accessed the notifications portal, why they failed to review these ad buys, and whether I will ever get my page back.

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