by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
419, hacking, phishing, scams, social networks


Facebook's Lack Of Hacking Resolution System For Nigerian Scammers

from the seems-like-a-problem dept

In the past week, you may have seen various news stories about Nigerian scammers hacking into Facebook, and then sending their "friends" messages, saying they're stranded in London without money. It is, of course, just the latest improvement on the venerable old Nigerian 419 scam, this time upgraded to use hacked/phished Facebook accounts to trick trusting friends into coughing up their money. However, one of the biggest issues is raised by Yehuda Berlinger, who points out that for those who are hacked, Facebook doesn't seem to have any reasonable way to contact them and fix the problem. Considering how much of your "identity" might be tied up in your social networking profile, you would think that a company like Facebook would have a ready made system in place to handle such "emergency" situations.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    ToySouljah, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 8:43pm

    I guess they think (and it is reasonable) that the friends that would send you money would contact you or at least know if there is a reason you'd be in London and stranded. That is one reason I do not allow just anyone to be a "friend". I know it looks really cool when you have a million friends on your list, but it also opens you up to more spam and scams like this. My cousin had her account compromised and I called her to let her know and she quickly changed her password. I didn't read into what type of hack this was or if it in fact was a real hack and not just someone who guessed a password or used brute force, but those are the easiest to recover from (change your password to something more secure). If it was a real hack and involved someone getting access to multiple accounts at once by breaking into one of their main servers and working the system from there then Facebook needs to look at their security measures and find a resolution to plug that hole. The biggest problem is that people set up accounts with VERY simple passwords that are cracked with even the simplest dictionary used. You would think that with the way technology has progressed that people would secure their passwords better since maybe 5 or 10 years ago a couple of words would take a few hours to crack, but now it can be done in seconds.

    So if someone actually falls for this and blindly sends money without asking questions (even if they are family or friends) then sorry to say it, but they deserve to be ripped off. The internet is a big game of cat and mouse and it is up to the person to keep themselves well-informed of ways to better protect themselves and their data.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Canucklehead, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Unless you need to report one of those "disgusting and offensive" breastfeeding pictures, you can expect prompt service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    ToySouljah, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 9:24pm


    Well, after getting a few minutes to read the article it seems they were completely locked out of their accounts. The passwords had been changed and the email accounts used to send out new passwords was replaced. Well, like I said...a real friend would have either your phone number or some other way of reaching you or your family (this would be considered a serious case that my family would want to be notified ASAP). Why don't they use security questions when attempting to change your password and then sending you an email (before it can be modified) that has to be verified by you. My bank does this if I make ANY changes to my account. It is a little bit annoying, but well worth the security...unless you of course use the same password for your email account and then you are pretty much S.O.L. since now both accounts have been compromised...if they get passed the security question that is.

    Also, may want to not have something like "What is your favorite movie" as a question and then on your page you list the movie as a favorite. I know it sounds really stupid and anyone with a gram of common sense wouldn't do it, but I have seen it plenty of times. I tend to use "off" answers. Or if you can create your own question (best) then make it a phrase to help you remember the "answer". People see my question "ST-SabCR-SitE" and it means nothing to them, but it has meaning to me :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dan, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 11:44pm

    I don't have any friends that would go to London and they would know better then to ask me to bail them out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Yeebok (profile), Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 12:17am

    Facebook is dire

    Anyone who trusts facebook with their data is silly. You -do- know that don't delete anything. They're not there so you can poke your mates, they're there to profit off you. A piece of paper on your desk at home probably has more security than your facebook data. All it needs is one dodgy friend ..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 2:56am


    was going to post something similar (specially "they would know better then to ask me to bail them out")

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 3:31am


    What we need to get Facebook's attention is to convince the Nigerian scammers is that we will give them money for posting pictures of them breast feeding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    This just happened to me. How do I disable my account and fix it so that the hacker can no longer log-in as me?? Any advice?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    csirvatka, Jan 29th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    No way to contact Facebook

    This exact thing happened to my husband's account last night. I had the perpetrator chatting in my IM acting like he was my husband (how absurd) and in the meanwhile trying to find a way to inform someone at Facebook, but to no avail. All I kept finding were links to more pages with links. No Contact Us form or anything. I know the readers here would know better than to send money, but not everyone is that Internet savvy. Facebook needs to listen to this situation and set up communications or they will lose current and future "Friends."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    billy bob, Feb 25th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    no comment

    i think its funny that you dumbas's got hacked into

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    mike, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 8:21pm

    How to view private facebook profiles

    Facebook is not doing a very good job at being secure. Read this article:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    charley iyke, Jun 9th, 2009 @ 4:43am

    you all suck

    its a pity that when a hack occurs, innocent nigerians are accused. the last time i was hacked on facebook, i was able to trace the hacker of my account, the son of a bitch was using a proxifier to hide his ip. but i used my high tech deproxifier to find out he was actually from indonesia. so please dont blame innocent nigerians. i so much pity them for the stinch on thier name.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    view private facebook profiles, Jun 29th, 2009 @ 3:21am

    Action against Nigerians

    Nigeria is famous for scam related issues. Facebook should block them...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Yadi ikechukwu, Jul 1st, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    funny! do what you want

    You can blame and curse all you want ladies, gentlemen and anonymous people but it won't change anything.

    Let Facebook take an action that they think is in the best interest of the majority just like paypal, clickbank, moneybrookers... the supposed Nigerians who hacked y'all still use these services that non hacking-scamming Nigerians are "BANNED" from.

    Look the best thing is to protect yourself instead of looking for a false sense of security that these business giants provide.

    You could get hacked/scammed/conned by "Nigerians" or your fellow country men or indians or French/asian guys when you do, please ask facebook to block all of them including your own country cos you can't tell me that you do not have hackers and malicious virus writers from your country.

    What a waste! this comment would have earned some reputation in an article directory... hummm.

    Enjoy - do what you want: we'll survive.
    Ps: gat any issues? thats my real name, Google it; you'll find me if you want solutions to your problem.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    john hairstyle, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 5:28am


    waw... your web thera are many useful info. thanks

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Angelina (profile), Dec 20th, 2010 @ 12:09pm


    " That is one reason I do not allow just anyone to be a friend"

    You can view How To View Private Facebook Profiles and hack Facebook Profiles even if you aren't allow them to your friends.

    If you want you can read about that here:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Suhari, Jan 1st, 2011 @ 12:28am

    Good jobs

    I have read it. And think it was great article

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Darren (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 4:36am

    Police Department

    Facebook is connected to the police departments of each country now,but they can not avoid the terrorists,porn directors to create pages.Eventhough people complain about them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    honey, May 15th, 2016 @ 8:40am

    Sincerely speaking, i always thought i could never find a legitimate hacker until a friend introduced me to this Russian
    hacker who helped hack into my ex husbands facebook, whatsapp and sms under 48hours.He is a professional who also track
    calls,changing school grades,clearing online records(bad driving and criminal records) to mention a few. This is for those
    who really need help. contact smith on his email Thank me later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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