Chicago radio personalities say social media pages were hacked, thousands stolen from fans

Samantha Chatman Image
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Chicago radio DJs say social media was hacked, money stolen from fans
Popular Chicago radio personalities Leon Rogers and DJ Sundance say hackers took over their Facebook pages and are using their likeness to steal from honest people.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Popular Chicago radio personalities say hackers in a new social media scheme are using their likeness to steal from honest people.

Leon Rogers at WGCI and DJ Sundance of V103 said they're trying to clear their names after their Facebook pages were taken over and their fans were asked to invest in fake business deals.

Like many in the Chicago area, listener Phillip Vasser is a big fan of Rogers. He said when he found an apparent opportunity posted on Rogers' Facebook page to make some extra cash he was intrigued, and wondered if it was legit.

"It was a $100 to get you $1,000, all the way up to a $1,000 to get you $20,000," he said. "And so I said, OK, well, let me do at least try to come in and do this and then maybe make a few extra dollars because I was taking my kids to Disney."

Vassar said he messaged Rogers on Facebook to find out if the deal was real.

"I said, I'm not sending you a dime unless you prove to me that you you!" Vasser recalled. "And he sent me a picture of his ID, posing with it in his house with legible reading of his face and his address."

Vassar said once he saw the picture of Rogers holding his ID, he was sold. He said he sent the person $4,700 in gift card codes and bitcoin. Then he realized something wasn't right.

"He hit me with the 'Well... they need to make sure you're you. I need your Facebook password and your login,'" he recalled.

Vasser said he reluctantly sent his password and, minutes later, he was locked out of his account. The money he sent is gone.

"You're destroying a lot of families out here with the things that you doing," Vasser said.

Leon Rogers is adamant the person who is running the scheme is not him.

"It is not me, no way, shape or form," he insisted.

Rogers said he's received thousands of messages from people across the Chicago rea who were ripped off.

But how did the person behind the scheme get a picture of Rogers holding up his driver's license? He said earlier this year he received a message he thought was from Facebook, asking him to send his login information and a video of him holding his ID up next to his face to prove it was him. So he sent it, and next thing he knew he said he was locked out of his page.

He said people have reached out to him demanding their money back.

"When it gets to the point where people are threatening to do some harm to you and your family for something you didn't do, that's kind of scary, you know?" Rogers said.

Ericka Ingram, who goes by DJ Sundance on V103, said her Facebook page was hacked the same was Rogers' page was, and said the person or people behind it are also using her likeness to exploit her fans.

"'You owe me money'," she said of the messages she's been getting. "You know, 'I sent my money to you. I sent my money to your page.' No, dear. You didn't send it to me. That page got hacked back in May. I have some police reports, three of them, you didn't send it to me."

Both Ingram and Rogers said they've reported the hacked pages to Facebook dozens of times, but have been completely ignored.

"Not one email, not nothing from Facebook," Ingram said.

"Please, people in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, anybody that rocks with me. Anybody that rocks with my morning show team. I'm in no way, shape or form taking any money from you," said Rogers.

Facebook, which now goes by Meta, said its support team is reviewing both Rogers' and Ingram's accounts so they can take appropriate action. The social media site said it strongly encourages people to stay vigilant for unexpected, unusual messages from existing contacts.

Additional safety tips from Facebook/Meta

  • Tips on how to stay safe on Messenger
  • On protecting your accounts:

  • We offer a number of security features and recommendations to help you recognize suspicious requests and activity, and keep your account and your Facebook Page safe. Since your Page is connected to your personal Facebook account, it's important to keep both secure.
  • Secure your account with two-factor authentication: Enable two-factor authenticationas an extra layer of protection, both for yourself and as a requirement for other admins of your Page.
  • Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know: Scammers may create fake accounts in an attempt to friend and manipulate people.
  • Watch out for suspicious links and malicious software: Keep an eye out for links you don't recognize, especially if they're coming from people you don't know or trust. Be careful not to click on suspicious links, open suspicious files or install malicious apps or browser extensions-even if they appear to come from a friend or a company you know. If you see a post or message that tries to trick you into sharing personal information, please report it.
  • We encourage people to visit if they believe their personal account or Page may have been compromised and it will direct them to a step-by-step guide on how to fix it.
  • On protecting against scams:

  • Unfortunately scams are an internet-wide challenge and scammers try to use different means including text messages, emails, phone calls, social media posts, etc. to trick people into giving them money or personal information, and are always changing their tactics.
  • We know scammers can cause people severe financial harm, which is why we continue investing in technology to keep them off Facebook and working with law enforcement to help prosecute them.
  • We know these challenges are ongoing and our work will never be done, but we'll continue improving our efforts against this activity.
  • We encourage people to not accept suspicious requests and to report suspicious messages to us right away:
  • We offer information on ways to avoid scamming on our Help Center here
  • Here are some things to look out for when trying to spot a scam:

  • People asking you for money
  • People asking you to send them money or gift cards to receive a loan, prize or other winnings
  • Anyone asking you to pay a fee in order to apply for a job
  • Pages representing large companies, organizations or public figures that are not verified
  • People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook to a less public or less secure setting, such as a separate email
  • People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency
  • People who misrepresent where they are located. If someone signs up for Messenger using their mobile phone number, you may be able to check which country their phone number is from. If you're concerned that a Page may be scamming you, you can check the Page's location
  • Messages or posts with poor spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • People or accounts directing you to a Page to claim a prize