Hacked Facebook accounts come back to haunt consumers

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando man claims hackers stole his Facebook page a year ago and says hackers tried to con his friends and family for donations to a fake charity.

Alex Brady said he suspected hackers when he tried to log onto Facebook last year. “I went to log on and I was locked up.” Brady said his password didn’t work but was able to find his account online.

“What did you see there?” Action 9′s Todd Ulrich asked.

“Somebody else’s email,” Brady replied.

That’s when he knew scammers controlled his page.

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He contacted Facebook and the page disappeared. Brady claims all attempts to have the company recover his account have failed.

“I’d like to be able to reconnect with friends and family that I pretty much only kept in contact with on Facebook,” Brady said.

One year later, Brady got a call from his wife. She found his Facebook page, and all his pictures and contacts were back online.

Hackers had control of his page. They posted a fundraiser from the fake account, pleading for thousands of dollars in donations to help his friend after having heart surgery.

“They were asking all my friends and family for money. You know it’s hard to feel more violated than that,” Brady said.

Brady says Facebook took down the page once he notified the company, but he worries it could come back to life and try to con people again.

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“It’s still just going to be out there forever for anyone to just take over,” Brady said.

In the past year, at least 30 consumers contacted Action 9 about unresolved Facebook complaints.

The Better Business Bureau gives the company an F rating, for more than 3,600 complaints in a year.

“Not every case can be solved by computer,” Michael Podolsky said.

Podolsky runs the consumer advocacy website pissedconsumer.com, and says his site received eight times more Facebook complaints since 2020. “We do not have a typical response from the company because people have a hard time getting a response.”

Ulrich reached out to Facebook managers about restoring Brady’s page.

Brady said he has tried to reach the company for a year. “It would be nice if there was a way to contact them.”

Facebook says to protect against hackers, change to a unique password not used anywhere else. In the Facebook Settings menu, block your profile from search engines and use two-factor authentication.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.