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Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Crazy Facebook Hackers

S took care of the babies and let me sleep in a little morning. It was so nice since the weather is so gray and cloudy here.

I got up, played with the girls a bit and then decided to check my email and facebook page. I had an email from a guy who works at the school asking me if everything was ok and if I was in London. He'd heard I'd been mugged and was stuck over there. Weird....emailed him back, said no.

I log onto facebook and see two open chat windows. I never chat on facebook. One of the windows is with my 13 year old cousin, another is with his mom. I begin to read through them and see that someone has created this elaborate story and is pretending to be me. They say I am in London, got mugged, the police won't help, I lost my passport, etc. Obviously the 13 year old is freaked out. Luckily he is suspicious and goes to get his mom. The chat continues with her. This person is very, very good. She asks them a few questions only I would know and the person goes offline.

She's still a little worried about us. It runs through her head that we might have left with the babies. (Which I later assure her we would NEVER, EVER even fathom). So she tries calling my cell (no reception at home) and our home phone. S unplugged it by accident last night. She then gets a bit more worried and ends up talking to her dad. He ends up calling my Dad. They are worriers by nature. So my parents call both our cell phones, home phones. No answer. They feel like its nothing but how can they help but be concerned when they can't contact us.

Luckily I got online just as my cousin was about to drive 1 hour to check on us. I call her and let her know we are just fine. I call my parents and we all have a good laugh.

The person who hacked my account went as far as removing all my recent posts and deleting the ones people who had been contacted tried to post.

Passwords are changed, account security is increased.

But it still leaves an icky feeling. There is a lot of personal information there.

Make sure your passwords are strong. This was the only account I had that had a weak one.

The same thing happened to my sister about a year ago...and it was the same story too--that she was in London, had been mugged, had no money and no passport.

I knew for sure it wasn't her, so I started messing with the person a bit. Asked if she had called mom. Yes, but mom was being mean and didn't want to help. (my mom has Alzheimer's and doesn't even know who we are). That's when I went off on the impostor and told him I thought he was a disgusting human being and I was calling the police. He also contacted a couple of our cousins and one of her friends in Denver, who was ready to wire money to this jerk. She has a much stronger password now too!
Jules   Saturday, February 5, 2011
Our cousin was hacked. Her whole computer and ever single online account she had was hacked, including Ancestry and all her bank accounts. It was ugly. After a year she's still trying to get things straightened out. I'm glad you're okay and not in London. :) I'm glad your families understood and were able to laugh it off. How scary!
Richie & Ashley   Saturday, February 5, 2011
If your password is not 15 characters and a mix of numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and special characters, you run the risk of having your account hacked by a low level thug. Anything 15 characters and above (following the rules previoiusly stated) cannot be cracked without the use of something called rainbow tables. In other words, if you have a strong password, the hacker won't bother with you, they'll just move on to one that is easy. If you have trouble remembering passwords, I highly recommend using a password database. They're easy to use and have a lot if options for creating passwords and organizing them. The one I've used for years is called KeePass.
soundchick   Saturday, February 5, 2011
A coworker of mine had the EXACT same thing happen to her a few weeks ago. Our boss got an email from her saying she was stuck in London and needed money and everything. It was so strange. She was finally able to get everything straightened out, but it took awhile!
K8Day   Saturday, February 5, 2011
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