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Facebook identity theft can affect more than just the individual. An Ewa woman’s friends and family were also put at risk.
Social media has become a part of everyday life — friends sending pictures of food or their vacations.
Lucy Jackson’s family signed her up for an account.
“My kids created the account for me because they wanted to get in touch with me and wanted me to get in touch with old friends and family members and so forth,” Jackson said.
Sounds innocent enough, but a month ago, a friend told her he had given his credit card number to someone who claimed to be Jackson on Facebook.
“After the first scam, I went in and I deleted my Facebook account. Unfortunately, they were still receiving e-mails as though it was me,” Jackson said.
Not only did hackers get Jackson’s email, they used her picture to make a new account and make it look legitimate.
Jackson’s problem is not uncommon — when users sign up for Facebook, they leave their e-mail contact there. Unless a user makes it private, two billion people have access to that and may be able to guess the password.
“The e-mail that’s used to access the account and the password. And a lot of people publish the contact information, the e-mail address they use to access Facebook,” police computer expert Chris Duque said.
Duque says don’t publish your e-mail address. Your friends should already know it.
Don’t use the same password for all your accounts. One lucky guess and the hacker is in. Also, log off Facebook when done.
What’s next for Jackson?
“She still can take some steps to limit her damage and also to prevent her friends and family and other people. She has to take a pro-active approach,” Duque said.
Jackson has a police case number. When the hacker is tracked, if it’s a local person, prosecution will follow. If that cyber-criminal lives in another country, the case becomes much more difficult.
“And I wanted to go public with this so everybody would know that this could happen to you,” Jackson said.