If you spend time on Facebook, whether for your business or personal life, you probably know of someone who has had their account hacked. One common hack job is to steal the identity of a trusted friend or relative and become their imposter. With increasing frequency hackers are now also infecting the social media accounts of professionals and posing as trusted advisers such as lawyers, doctors, and certified public accountants.
The racket goes like this: First the hacker gains access to the professional’s personal or business Facebook account. From there they target the public with fake messages through Facebook Messenger. The victim believes they’re having a conversation with a trusted professional – but behind the message is a swindler.
The imposter often tries to trick you into clicking on a link which downloads a virus allowing the hacker to steal your confidential data. Sometimes the hacker, having stolen the Facebook identity of a lawyer, doctor, or other professional you know, tries to persuade you to transfer money to an account with the promise of receiving more money later.
Best practice is to never accept any professional advice or click on a link sent to you from a professional through Facebook Messenger. If the professional uses Facebook Messenger to render professional advice, you’re within your rights to insist that information be exchanged through a more secure method.
If you suspect someone is acting as your imposter, or is impersonating someone you know, immediately report it to Facebook. Visit the Facebook Help Center for reporting instructions.
1Source Law LLC