Facebook scammers hack accounts, then solicit friends in private messages, in growing scheme

ByCarlos Granda KABC logo
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Facebook scammers hack accounts, then solicit friends in messages
Facebook scammers are locking users out of their accounts and then soliciting their friends in private messages.

LOS ANGELES -- One woman is warning about a Facebook hack that caused her to lose access to her accounts.

"It's about 15 years of memories gone," said Vivian Eisenstadt, when she lost control of her Facebook page.

The hack has affected both her personal account and the one for her business.

It all started when she received a private message from what she thought was one of her friends. But the friend had been hacked, and when she clicked on a link her account was hacked as well.

"They immediately changed the recovery, phone number and email so that, whoever's account, they cannot recover their account," Eisenstadt said.

She said the hackers then sent out a message to her friends, claiming she made money using Bitcoin and urging them to invest.

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"They start private messaging each of my friends, 5,000 people, one at a time, saying that they're me and soliciting my friends, family everyone to invest in this Bitcoin mining page," she said.

Eisenstadt said as soon as she noticed what was happening, she tried contacting Facebook.

She's gone through the procedure to recover her account, but it feels like she's going around in circles.

"Facebook has absolutely no way to reach them. There's absolutely no customer support to talk to a person to resolve this," Eisenstadt said.

"They automate so many processes, so many of the things that you're able to change with your account, and often times these are critical things that become difficult to undo," said Dr. Clifford Neuman, a professor of Computer Science from University of Southern California. "You reach out to the company, you try to get that personalized customer service, and you wait months and months before you are at the head of the queue, and that makes it almost impossible to correct these kinds of intrusions."

ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC sent an email to Facebook to get a statement about this, but, so far, the company has not responded. Eisenstadt said she wonders if she will ever get her account back.

"I communicate to my friends or my family through this media, I communicate to patients who need my help through this medium, and I didn't realize how important it was to me until I lost it," Eisenstadt said.