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Social media: Victims recount ordeals from hackers

Experts caution users

As internet hackers continue their onslaught on social media users, victims have recounted their ordeals in the hands of the marauders, who hijack accounts for fraudulent activities. According to the victims that spoke with our correspondents, the hackers employ many strategies, which include sending phishing links, codes, or hacking through other accounts that have been hacked.

The cyber attacks, which in many cases lead to financial losses for the family and friends of the victims, have become a threat to the growing social media embrace in the country, as financial losses continue to rise. One of the victims, who shared his experience with our correspondents, Ogunfowora Damilare, said his Facebook page was hacked through a voting link sent to him by an unknown lady, who pretended to seek assistance for a vote in a beauty contest.

“So, I saw a message on my messenger and the girl said I should please assist her on the voting and she sent the link to me. Immediately I clicked on the link I was asked to input my Facebook details on the website, which I thought was normal, so I did that. “Immediately, I was logged out of my Facebook account and I couldn’t log in again. I became so tensed and that was how I lost access to my Facebook account. Unfortunately for me, I did not have an email address for account recovery, neither did I activate the two-step verification,” he lamented.

For unsuspecting Adesoyinsola Tinueyin, what she thought she responded to on Facebook was a message from ‘her friend’ and that was how she lost her account through a friend’s account that had been hacked. Sharing her experience, she said: “One of my best friends chatted with me on Facebook messenger, requesting my help. She said her account was about to get hacked and she needed my number. I told her to go ahead. “Shortly, I got a code and then another one. She asked me to forward the codes. I wasn’t in my right mind and I was busy. I sent it not wanting to ‘fall my friend’s hands’ especially as she has always complained about people wanting to hack her account. “Immediately, I screenshot the code and sent it to messenger. Her chat came up on Whatsapp, she was not the one chatting with me on Messenger. Her account has been hacked.”

That was how she realised her account has been hacked too. Kabir Ismail only discovered his account had been taken over when he could not log in. According to him, he succeeded at first, but was automatically logged out immediately. “I tried searching for the account with my brother’s account and my bio and profile picture had been changed, it was a sloppy work, the bio wasn’t full and my pictures were still on the profile. The hacker also changed my name to Tommy Winchester.” For Awonuga Haleemah, her Facebook and Instagram accounts were hacked together as they were connected.

She didn’t notice at first until someone told her. Soon after, the name of her Facebook account got changed and her pictures were deleted. For another Whatsapp user, who simply identified himself as Yomi, his account was hacked through a phone call.

“It was about 8 am January 15, 2021, I received a call from an unknown number informing me of training in one of the WhatsApp groups to which I belong. The caller then told me to hang on for a while to receive a confirmation code for the training. I received the code and sent it back to him, he thanked me and promised to call me by 3pm to remind me of the training.” he said.

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