Business owner issues warning after hackers shut down social media
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Clicking a fake Facebook notification led to weeks of anxiety and blocked access to an essential business page for one Derbyshire business owner.
Carlo Laurenti, who owns and runs Derbyshire Wedding and Events, clicked a link after receiving a notification on Facebook saying that his page had been impersonating another.
Within seconds, his computer screen filled with various images, including indecent images of children, and Carlo lost access to his business page on Facebook.
“I was having very graphic images coming on, worst of all even child porn. I was absolutely lost, trying to unplug things but the damage was done.”
Carlo got in touch with his technical support team, and due to the nature of the images which had been displayed on his laptop, immediately contacted the police.
Detective Sergeant Steve Judge, who leads the Cybercrime and Digital Investigations Unit which dealt with Carlo’s case said: “Sadly we are seeing criminal hackers using indecent images of children to ‘cover their tracks’ after gaining access to business pages on social media.
“Once they have gained access to an account through the victim clicking a link, they will look to take any personal or financial details from the page, even buying advertising, before posting explicit images to get the page shut down by Facebook.”
“In Derbyshire we have worked with Facebook to help victims of hacking to regain access to their accounts.
“We have also done further work to review Facebook’s processes, to ensure that they can pinpoint the hackers rather than punish the victims of hacking by erasing all trace of valuable pages that people rely on for their businesses.”
The advice to avoid these scams is to ‘Stop. Think. Tell.’ as criminals rely on victims feeling pressurised to act quickly and click on a link.
Carlo explains: “All it takes is that moment of distraction, being caught under pressure.”
He finished with: “If in doubt, just don’t click.”
Sock it to the Scammers
Stop. Think. Tell. is the key message of our #SockItToTheScammers campaign, which is headed up by a memorable sock puppet called Claude.
If you suspect that something isn’t right, always take time to:
Stop – Don’t click a link or provide any information without taking a moment to pause. Scammers will add time pressures to stop you from questioning whether the request is valid.
Think – Consider who is asking for the information, and if they are genuine. Check the source of the request – is it an official Facebook notification that’s come through the business centre?
Tell – If you’re not sure, ask someone you trust for a second opinion. If you think it’s a scam on social media, report it to Facebook or the relevant social network. If you think you’ve clicked a link, provided personal information or money, report it to the police or Action Fraud for further support.
To protect against these scams, always ensure that you have two factor authentication enabled on your accounts, this adds a second layer of security when you or someone else is trying to log into your account.