My Facebook Was Hacked And They Changed My Email Address

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Hopefully, the day will never come when you find out that your Facebook account has been hacked or taken over. It feels awful and I feel for you, for a world of pain it will take time and possibly money to get your account back under your rightful control.

My Facebook Was Hacked And They Changed My Email Address

My Facebook Was Hacked And They Changed My Email Address

Let me walk you through the recovery process. Next, I will provide you with some proactive safety guidelines that you can follow to prevent this terrible moment from happening, or at least reduce the chances of it happening.

How Can My Facebook Account Be Misused If Hacked?

Scenario 1. You let a family member or friend “hijack” your Facebook account on your computer or phone. They continue to consume content, post messages like you, or become friends with random people. It happened to a friend of mine who had a grandchild at home for a week. The girl went out of town and left a mess on my friend’s Facebook profile. “She didn’t add anything to my account, but I had some weird friend requests to clean up. I have decided to stop using my account.” It’s more annoying than hacking, but still annoying.

Fix: First, use the Facebook security page to check and see where else your account is already logged in.

This list should also remind you of all the devices you’ve used Facebook on in the past. I took this screenshot after finding (and then removing) an older Windows laptop that I hadn’t used in years on the list. You will also see a record of my iPhone located somewhere in Indiana. I haven’t visited this state in years, so sometimes the geolocation algorithms are a bit wonky. Even if your account hasn’t been hacked, it’s a good idea to check this screen periodically to make sure you haven’t accidentally enabled a login.

If you don’t recognize (or use) any of the devices in this list, click the three vertical dots on the right and force those devices to log out of your account. Then change your password to a unique one. Also, remember to sign out of Facebook (and Messenger) before lending your device to someone in the future.

Why Scammers Hack Facebook Profiles

Scenario 2. Someone uses your photo and name and creates a new account. They will then try to recruit your FB friends to their account.

Solution: There’s not much you can do about it other than tell people you’re still you and ignore the scammer. This should be a warning when you receive a friend request from someone you think you’ve already befriended, or someone you haven’t spoken to in years. A word to the wise: send them an email or text asking if the request is genuine.

Scenario 3. Doomsday scenario. Someone guesses your account password and blocks you from accessing your account. This situation is the worst and fixing it will depend on what else you have connected to your Facebook account and how determined you are to get it back.

My Facebook Was Hacked And They Changed My Email Address

This is what happened to Elizabeth, the author of the books. For four months, she worked with two different friends who were IT professionals and a lawyer. She had two complicating factors that made it difficult to recover her account.

How To Recover A Hacked Facebook Account

She first used Facebook ads to promote her books, so she linked her login to her credit cards. This prompted the hacker to load her card with his own ads to try and lure more victims into the compromise.

The second complication was that she was using her nickname and a random birthday for her account. During the recovery process, Facebook will ask you to scan your ID to verify who you are. When she told me, I started to worry about myself. For years I’ve been proud to use January 1st as my “birthday” on Facebook. Now she was telling me that I would be in trouble if someone hacked my account.

She eventually managed to reset her password, but almost immediately the hacker reset and took over her account again. “I tried to get someone on Facebook to help me, but I couldn’t get anyone to call,” she told me. Before the pandemic, the company had a dedicated phone line for industry professionals, “but it was shut down,” she said. She was more successful in blocking the credit card charges by calling her bank. “I was losing sleep trying to stay one step ahead of the hacker. My whole life was put on hold while I tried to deal with the situation. I didn’t do any work for months. I ended up changing my passwords on over 30 different accounts.

1. Now would be a good time to quit Facebook. The problem is that you have someone impersonating you and can use your identity in criminal and unpleasant situations. Not to mention, they may try to tap bank accounts that are linked to your account or open credit cards in your name. (More on that in a bit.)

You’ve Been Scraped, The Facebook Data Leak Explained

2. Try to recover your account yourself using Facebook’s own obscure and often contradictory steps. This is how most people I know have tried it. However, you will find out very quickly that there is no easy way to do this. You have to communicate with Facebook support through someone else’s account, which seems a bit counterintuitive, so hopefully your spouse or friend is willing to help. (Don’t be tempted to create a second account, as this may result in both of your accounts being suspended.) You must then select one of several options (find an unauthorized post, an account that uses your own name and/or photos) and enter the rabbit hole and recover your account.

If you’re using Facebook as a means of logging into other Internet services, you’ll need to break those connections — or a hacker could compromise those other accounts. If, like Elizabeth, you have linked your credit card or other financial accounts, you will need to contact those institutions and request that these charges be waived. Start by trying to use Facebook from other devices you’ve used before: maybe the hacker didn’t log you out automatically.

3. Use a third-party recovery service like Hacked.com. It will cost you $249, but the company will be persistent and refund your money if they can’t help you. You also get an annual digital protection plan, usually sold separately for $99. If you have a complicated situation like Elizabeth (related finances, mismatched birthdays), I recommend going this route.

My Facebook Was Hacked And They Changed My Email Address

But make sure you don’t hire a random hacker who can take your money and do nothing else. I spoke with Hacked.com founder Jonas Borhgrevink, who in a recent Washington Post article outlined the different sequences of steps his team is trying. And he confirmed that if you use a name other than the one on your ID, it’s almost impossible to recover your account.

What To Do If Your Facebook Account Gets Hacked?

If you haven’t been hacked (yet) and are a little uncomfortable reading this article, here are some steps you can take to protect your Facebook account, or at least reduce the pain points if it happens. Start by doing at least one of these today and make sure you get all the items taken care of as soon as possible.

1. Set additional security when logging into your Facebook account. Facebook gives you a lot of confusing options, but I recommend using a two-factor authentication app like Google Authenticator. (You can start from this Facebook page.)

Two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA) uses an Android or iOS smartphone app as part of the sign-in process. After entering your username and password, Facebook will ask you to enter a series of six numbers generated by the app. These numbers change every minute, so you should have your phone close when you enter. If you want additional credit, take the time to activate this second factor method on your other accounts, including all banks and credit card companies that support this method (sadly, too few do).

Elizabeth used a less secure method for her second factor: she sent six numbers as a text message to her phone. You can read more about why it’s not my preference.

How To Recover A Disabled Facebook Account: 13 Steps

2. Check if you have Facebook payment methods configured. While preparing for this article, I was surprised to discover that my PayPal address was linked to my Facebook account – and I thought I was being careful about my Facebook security. There are two places to check. First, there’s a page that shows if you’ve set up credit cards to make direct payments to individuals or causes called Facebook Pay. To remove all advertising payment methods, go to this next link. If you have any advertising campaigns in your business, you should stop them first.

3. Remove related apps and websites. if

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