Ask Andy: Facebook scam - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Facebook scam

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Facebook is only a click away from your family and friends, but it is also a way for hackers to steal your money.

"On a scale of one to 10, I would say it's about a three to break into someone's Facebook account," said Bob Sullivan, Technical Correspondent with msnbc.com.  "Maybe even easier than that."

Hackers took control of Bryan Rutberg's Facebook account and sent an urgent message to all his online friends.

"The story was I'm stuck here in London," Rutberg said.  "I was on vacation at a resort.  We were held at gunpoint and now I have no way to get back home.  Please sent money."

Unable to access his own account, Rutberg spent the next 48 hours franticly trying to contact Facebook.  Before his account was fixed, one of his friends, Beny Rubinstein, wired $1,200 to a Western Union branch in London.

"I asked him a couple of questions that were personal and he answered them properly," Rubinstein said, "so he made me believe I was talking to him."

"What a nice testament to our friendship," Rutberg said, "but how awful that someone was able to take advantage of that friendship."

Rutberg said part of the problem is that Facebook does not have a phone number or hotline for uses.  If your account is hacked, you have to e-mail the Facebook security team and wait.

Facebook said that with over 400 million users worldwide, they are just not staffed to provide that service.

Experts said to have more than one contact e-mail address in case one is compromised.  Also, do not use the same password for all your web accounts and be suspicious of anyone who asks for money online, even a friend on Facebook.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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