hack: verb [...] 4 a: to write computer programs for enjoyment b: to gain access to a computer illegally
Or in my case, to access my Facebook account and proceed to tell everyone that I was in London and needed money to get home. Amusing considering that I don’t even have a passport to get over there if I wanted to in the first place! A friend passed along part of her exchange with “me.”
10:46 “Me” — Am stuck in London. I was mugged at a gun point last night
10:46 My friend — what?
10:46 “Me” — All cash credit card and cell was stolen off me
10:46 My friend — did you call the bank?
10:46 “Me” — It was scary and terrible am just happy i was not hurt
10:47 My friend — definetely
10:48 My friend — wait…where are you?
10:49 “Me” — Am in a local library
10:49 My friend — where’s craig?
10:49 “Me” — Is not in Town
10:52 “Me” — Can you help me with some money to settle my hotel bills and also get a cab to the airport….so as to catch up with my flight
10:52 My friend — what flight, where are you goin
10:52 “Me” — I will def refund it back to you as soon as i get back home. Am coming back home. I promise i will def refund it. I don’t to miss my flight. Are you there with me?
11:02 My friend — call your parents :):) you know i have no money…
11:03 “Me” — They went to Fiji Island on holiday. It just a little money. I will def refund it back to you i promise
11:04 My friend — and how do you suggest i give you the money (that i don’t have…)..?
11:04 “Me” — Cos i don’t want to miss my flight now that the embassy has agreed to help me with a refurn flight back home. You have your credit card with you
11:04 My friend — no
11:05 “Me” — why not go to your bank
11:05 My friend — i have no bank
11:05 “Me” — and get some money
11:05 My friend — i want to know where exactly you are
11:05 “Me” — ok
11:06 My friend — tell me your exact location, hon i know! why don’t you call your brother?
11:07 “Me” — 626 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London W4 5RY he went with dad and mom to Fiji Island
11:08 My friend — right. tough luck, dude
11:08 “Me”– It just a little money $590 Any luck?
11:08 My friend — no
I don’t even know where to begin! Fiji Island? On holiday? REALLY???
I’m originally from Texas. Holiday to me is Christmas. Not a vacation. And my friend they chatted with here is in another country… which makes the whole request for money to “come back home” all the more amusing.
While I laugh now, at the time I was angry and frustrated. This person or spambot had hacked into my profile, added a different email address to my account and then changed my password. And as I went in to change my password so I could regain access… as soon as I changed it, the spambot would change it again! This went on for a good half hour before I was able to regain control of my own profile.
I am SO grateful to the friends who alerted me of this happening, and I apologize profusely at the same time… as they had to deal with this impostor and its attempts to get money from them.
Facebook security has been notified of the incidence, as has the email host of the email address that hacked my account. I have gone through and changed almost ALL of my passwords to various sites. A friend sent me the link to an article giving advice on ways to create more secure passwords. Now, I just hope I can remember the new passwords!
The irony of this situation is the fact that I am diligent in spyware and virus scanning, with scans set to run multiple times a week while I sleep. But I also have to acknowledge that in this day and age, even doing that does not guarantee that one is safe. Sometimes, its just a random thing, which is what I really think this case was. I was target of the day.
I’m left feeling a little like someone broke into my house, snooped around, did a little rearranging (as some of my links were deleted!), and then ultimately stole a gallon of milk out of my refrigerator. I feel violated and frustrated, and yet I have to also laugh about it. Because the scenario painted by the spammer was so far out there…
Spammers… smart in how they are able to access your account. But not too bright in pulling the wool over people’s eyes.
At least in this case.
By the way, to anyone curious, that address is a legitimate hotel address: Chiswick Moran Hotel.