An Irish woman has issued a warning to all android users after the Facebook app on her phone was hacked.
The woman, who lives in Banbridge, Co Down, said she was tricked into re-entering her login details which allowed hackers to take over her account.
Since the incident occurred last week the woman said she has been in constant contact with Facebook to try and resolve the issue.
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She told Belfast Live : “This all started last Tuesday, 31st May when I was using the Facebook app on my phone. Not only do I have a personal Facebook page I also have one for my business, which is linked.
“A notification popped up which was a report. In the app usually notifications have a blue and white background but this was yellow and said that a report had been made against my business page.
“I closed my business last December so I’m no longer self-employed. It does clearly say that on the page, which I have only kept going in order to keep in contact with my clients,” she explained.
“I assumed that someone had done a bogus report on my page, which has happened in the past, so I clicked on the notification and it said my page had been reported for improper use.
“I guessed that someone was trying to throw a spanner in the works because they aren’t happy that the business has closed. I clicked that I disagreed with the decision of that report and then I was asked to confirm my Facebook login details.
“All this was still within the app so I wasn’t redirected externally from the app to a browser or anything like that. I entered my login details again and that’s obviously how it was captured. That took me back into the app, which leads me to believe that the Facebook app and my account has been hacked.”
Minutes later, pro-terrorism images began appearing on her account page and she was contacted by relatives expressing concern that she may have been hacked.
Facebook temporarily locked her from her account while the hackers also tried to make fraudulent payments.
“I was contacted by Facebook to say the content was inappropriate even though it wasn’t me who put it up. They have disabled my page so I can’t get onto it at the moment,” she explained.
“On Saturday, the hackers were able to use my linked PayPal account to try to make fraudulent payments. I woke up to loads of missed calls from my bank, Santander, as they said fraud had been permitted because PayPal is still linked to my business account.
“There were three attempts on Saturday morning by the hackers to take £113.27 from my account and the payment was listed directly to Facebook’s owner Meta.”
She added: “My Facebook was hacked while I was using the app, on my phone. I have never clicked on any suspicious emails or anything.
“There was a bogus report in my Facebook notifications on the app. I opened the notification and then there was inappropriate content posted on my page. I did not post any of that content.”
It’s unknown who is behind the attack on the account but there are some steps people can take to protect their social media from hackers.
First and foremost, make sure your passwords aren’t easy to guess and don’t feature any personal information.
Be sure to also set up two-factor authentication so you get alerts of any suspicious login attempts on your account.
Another tip is to not use your Facebook log-in on a device that you don’t normally use.
In terms of protecting your devices, be sure to never click on suspicious links or answer phone calls from numbers you don’t know.
Never give out your personal information to someone you don’t know either as doing so could lead to your identity being stolen.
Meta Platforms, which owns Facebook, was contacted for comment.
A spokesperson said the team have reached out directly to the woman to help restore her account, adding that they “recommend that she (and all your readers) set up two-factor authentication, a security feature that helps protect your [Instagram/Facebook] account in addition to her password. You can find out more on how to do this here. ”
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