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Now more than ever it seems social media accounts are being hacked in exorbitant numbers. The Covid-19 Pandemic is believed to have driven the number of hacked accounts higher than ever and the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report takes a closer look at it’s impact. Per the the report, despite the pandemic nearly 108 million Americans experienced some form of cybercrime.

For some, it’s only a minor nuisance but for others, it can be catastrophic. With social media platforms being a major outlet for businesses and influencers, being the victim of malicious hackers can cause significant damage financially but even worse, it can pose a potential security risk. This is the case with Buffalo resident Rashawn Jackson. 

Used with permission of Rashawn Jackson

Oct 27th, 2020 was the start of her hacking nightmare that she continues to fight against till this very day. I asked Jackson how she was able to pinpoint the exact day so clearly and she responded,  “I was devastated. It was the day that Facebook basically told me that my life on Facebook was over.” It all began when she responded to an inbox from a local DJ who was also hacked at the time unbeknownst to her. The hacker, posing as the DJ was trying to get her on board with a Crypto money making opportunity. Jackson was leery but the hacker went as far as sending her the DJ’s Driver’s License to prove it was him. She still wasn’t convinced and just logged off, not realizing that this was the last time she would have access to her account. When she attempted to log back in later that day, she was unable to. She received an email asking her to send a picture of her license to authenticate herself to unlock her account but was never able to get back in. Turns out the email was from the hackers and they are now using her account, ID and likeness to scam and hack other people. Jackson began living in fear. Even though she has reported the page numerous times to Facebook and to the local/federal authorities, as well as alerting her followers via Instagram that the account was hacked, her close to 5,000 friends on that Facebook page began falling victim one by one to the hackers and her worst nightmare was realized. One evening while enjoying a night out on the town, she was approached in a local bar by an enraged person who thought they were buying a PS4 from Jackson but were in fact taken by the impersonators. Another victim on her friends list sent money for a Yorkie puppy that they never received and reached out to her personally only to find out they were scammed as well. Jackson shares her story in hopes of finally getting the hacked page taken down, or at the very least bringing awareness to it. She also hopes to help others protect themselves from being hacked as well. She admits that she didn’t have 2-Factor-Authentication enabled and she should have not responded to a message that she felt was fishy from the start. She also stated that if your Instagram and Facebook pages are connected, hackers could potentially access both.

According to Facebook’s Security Features & Tips Page, you can help protect your account by; 

  • Protecting your password
  • Never sharing login Info
  • Log out after using a public or shared computer 
  • Don’t accept unknown friend requests
  • Watch for malicious software
  • Never click a link that seems suspicious even from a known sender 
  • Use extra security features 

The holidays may be over which is the time when Cyber Hacks seem to peak the most but the pandemic still rages on and cyber security threats are still at an all-time high so be smart, vigilant and safe. If you or someone you know need assistance with Cyber Crime, you can file a claim with the FBI’S Internet Crime Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov you can also report Facebook click here to report facebook issues related to hacked accounts.

The hacked account that has been reported repeatedly and has yet to have been taken down is facebook.com/rashawn.baynard report if contacted by this page and do not respond to any messages.

Photo's from Joy on Genesee Street

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