WATCH report below by Tess van Straaten in CHEK Point.
A Nanaimo woman is speaking out, after she woke up Wednesday morning to find out her Facebook account had been hacked.
Mandy Marshall says the hackers changed her password so she couldn’t access her account and they then started posting on her page, including a post that said, ‘keep calm and love your hackers.’
“It’s just personal, that’s what freaks you out about it,” the 18 year-old says. “It’s like all this personal information that somebody can have about you that you can’t do anything about.”
With no way to access her old account, Marshall opened a new one but she says as soon as she did, the hackers started sending her messages and demanded a ransom to get her Facebook account back.
“They said they wanted $1,000 U.S. and I was like really, that makes no sense,” she says. “I told them I don’t care that much about a Facebook account and they said, don’t make me angry, sweetie.”
Internet security experts say hackers often gain access by easy to guess passwords or if people haven’t kept their passwords private.
They’ll also send unsuspecting victims a text message saying their account has been compromised, but once you click on the link, they’ll be able to harvest your information.
So what should you do if this happens to you?
“Number one, don’t pay the ransom because once you do that they’ve got you and they’ll hit you again and again and again,” advises internet security expert Darren Laur.
“Immediately report it to Facebook that your account has been hacked and taken over and they’ll be able to freeze it and in some cases, you should report it to the police because this is a form of extortion.”
As for Mandy, she says she’s learned her lesson.
“Definitely to be more cautious about it and change my password every month or so.”