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Your Facebook page may be a prime target for cyber thieves

Criminals are taking control of people's pages and in some cases, stealing their money.

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Some Facebook pages are under attack.

Users are losing control of their pages and their memories, and some people are losing their money.

"It's very much personal. It's very emotional," Renee Heller said.

Heller can see her Facebook page but can't access anything on it, including thousands of family photos.

"Looking back through photos, I have 15 years that I can't account for," she said.

A few weeks ago, Heller got an email in the middle of the night. The message from Facebook said her account information had been charged.

"My password was changed. My email address was changed. My phone number was changed, which are all the things that you use to recover your account," she said.

Through her main account, Heller also manages the page for her photography business and her husband's home improvement business. While she can still view all the pages, she can't post or edit anything on them.

Heller said she has tried to reach Facebook dozens of times for help but received no response.

"I feel like Facebook and customer service probably shouldn't even be in the same sentence," she said.

How did this happen?

In early April, the information of more than 530 million Facebook users was posted online for free.

It included phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, and in some cases, email addresses.

Facebook says the information was obtained from public records that were available until September 2019.

"My only guess is that they were looking for people who had Facebook Pay linked to their bank account and were hoping to either make purchases through Facebook Pay or get access to their bank account," Heller said.

Shortly after Heller spoke with sister station WGAL, she learned that $250 was somehow removed from her Venmo account and used to make a purchase through Facebook.

After she switched bank accounts, another $350 was removed from her PayPal account. We're still trying to determine how that happened.

Other viewers who have contacted WGAL about hijacked accounts tell us that money was taken from their credit cards or PayPal accounts connected to Facebook.

Heller showed WGAL her Facebook password. While it was fairly complicated, it was old.

"I had the same password for 15 years. Never changed it. Never thought to," she said.

What can you do?

According to Facebook, the information involved in this case pre-dates 2019.

If you think you could be one of the 530 million victims, the best thing to do is change your password immediately.

It's a good idea to change passwords at least every three months. It can be inconvenient, but it's worth it.

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