Cyber criminals targeting Facebook accounts

OMAHA, Neb. --

A warning is out tonight for people using social networks. Experts said cyber criminals may target accounts in order to steal from users and their friends.

Omaha's Marta McNamee said she learned about the danger first-hand when she found an unusual e-mail in her inbox from Facebook's technical staff. It said they had shut down her account.

"Our system indicates that your account had been compromised by cyber criminals," she read from the e-mail.

She said she later found out what the alert was all about.

Marta MacNamee's Facebook account was hijacked for illegal purposes.

"My account sent messages to everybody, to every one of my friends in my account, telling them that I needed money," she said.

She said someone named Faith stole her Facebook user name and password and contact each of her friends with a wild story.

"That I was robbed at gunpoint in England, in London, and that I was in the street with no passport, no nothing," she said.

The person also called one of McNamee's longtime friends and left a voicemail message.

"I guess she got mugged last night and she asked me to call you and ask for you to get online," the anonymous caller said on the recorded message.

Computer expert Andy Riker of Our Tech Solutions said Facebook is becoming more of a target for criminals.

He said to protect themselves, users should install a firewall and antivirus software on their systems. He also said to monitor the people who use the computer and to secure a wireless network if the computer has one.

"The services are out there," Riker said. "It's really just about taking that proactive step to protect yourself."

McNamee said she takes those tips to heart, but she said she still feels like she's been violated.

"My account has been disabled because of this person," she said. "Anybody can ruin your life and destroy you in the blink of an eye."

Scammers Target Facebook Accounts

Copyright 2009 by KETV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading