Woman blames a Facebook hack for her stolen bank savings

Reporter: Sara Girard
Published: Updated:
Person typing on the computer.

Bank statements show someone took a total of $1,600 from Rachel Rivera’s savings account and it wasn’t her.

“That’s what I want answers for. How did they do it?” Rachel Rivera said, expressing fear that more money will be withdrawn from her account.

It started when her friends received a bizarre link from Rivera’s Facebook account she claims she never sent.

The next day, Facebook sent her an email saying her password had been reset. A second sign that something was wrong — since Rivera did not ask for her Facebook password to be reset.

“As of today, my son is going to come and just delete me from Facebook because it’s just too scary,” she said.

Most people don’t pay attention to their browsing history, previous online purchases, and publicly available data, which can be a problem according to experts.

“People don’t realize how much information they have on the internet,” Lee Chartier said, an FBI special agent.

Cyber crimes, such as computer hacking, are big business for criminals. According to Norton, which provides antivirus and security software, more than 140 million Americans were affected by cyber crime in 2017. Total loses were in excess of $19 billion.

Since 24 percent of U.S. cyber crime victims use the same password across all of their online accounts, nefarious individuals can easily take advantage of this, hacking the accounts of unsuspecting people.

“It can be fairly complicated,” Chartier said, “It depends on the strength of the password…  the platform they are going after.”

Chartier said to prevent hacking, routinely change passwords. A second step to further avoid a password becoming compromised is by enabling two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication requires a person attempting to access an account to enter a password, then confirm entry with an additional step. Commonly, a code will be texted to the account user’s smartphone, which will ask the person whether he or she attempted to access the account seconds ago.

Rivera said nobody knew her password, except her. She also claims not to have any bank information tied to her accounts.

“My Facebook just has Rachel Rivera and my birthday,” Rivera said. “It doesn’t say the school or anything background about me.”

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