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A Live Conversation With a Thief

February 1st, 2011 · 6 Comments

A friend of mine on Facebook was hacked today.  And the criminal who took over their account started the old “We’re on vacation and we got mugged can you send money scam” with me via Facebook IM.

I found it extremely frustrating to be chatting with this thief while I tried feverishly to contact this friend on other channels that I hoped weren’t also compromised.  I really hate thieves and talking to this one was infuriating. I wanted to hit a button and send them a huge shock right through their keyboard.

Here is the dialog:

Because this friend is somewhat distant and we’ve not spoken in months I knew at this moment that it was a scam.  My friend wouldn’t call on me for help in this kind of a case.  I’m much too distant a friend to call upon in a case like this.

I decided to string them along while I contacted my friend.  I decided that it was going to be impossible to get in touch with Facebook quickly enough to do anything.  I felt that if I could take up more of their time at least they wouldn’t be scamming anyone else while they were trying to work me.

At this point the scammer/thief dropped off line.  My friend called me a few minutes later and said they had been contacted by others as well.  They’ve started the recovery process, which I’ve been through and I documented here.

There are lots of things to analyze in this conversation. But I’m not going to waste time on it.  Suffice it to say that it’s shocking and disturbing that someone tries to do these things and prey upon people’s good nature.  Guard yourself and never ever send anyone money without speaking with them on the phone.

I wish there were more I could do.  I’m afraid they are out there scamming more and more people even as you read this.  If you have any suggestions for more that I could do please let me know in the comments.

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Tags: Reasons For Net Marketing · Truthful Tuesday

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention A Live Conversation With a Thief -- Topsy.com // Feb 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Kieff and ComfortInnMiddletown, NJ Open Coffee. NJ Open Coffee said: Just had a live Facebook Chat with a scammer who hacked a friends Facebook accnt. See the conversation here: http://ow.ly/3OgqO [...]

  • 2 Aldon Hynes // Feb 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    My wife and I had a similar experience, probably a year ago. Since my wife is the daughter of a retired Federal agent, one of the first things she did was contact the local FBI field office.

    She, likewise, tried to keep them on as long as possible. Our local FBI office was appreciative for the information, though I don’t know if the information they gathered helped in catching anyone.

  • 3 Bridget // Feb 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I had this happen to me, but I was logged in to my FB acc and was watching a live chat, I was not even typing and the hacker was pretending to be me and telling someone I hardly chat too the exact kind of thing. You have to be so careful!

  • 4 Chris Kieff // Feb 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

    That’s even more weird. I can imagine how frustrating that would be.

  • 5 Friendiversary // Feb 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I’ve been in a similar situation, I knew a friend’s account was hacked, and I was afraid to notify them through FB because I was thinking I could be the next target. Nice reminder to have strong secure unique passwords.

  • 6 Nancy Passow // Feb 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    An even scarier version happened when my cousin (we’ll say Cousin P, who’s married to Cousin R) had her Facebook account hacked. Cousin L, in Israel, received a phone call from someone who said he was in London, holding a gun on Cousins P and R, and if Cousin L didn’t wire him money, he would shoot them. She apparently believed him, wired him money, and then called my aunt (Cousin R’s mom) to ask if P and R were in London (P is a travel consultant, so they do travel). The amusing side note to this is that my MIL (aunt to all of these cousins and in her late 80′s) was so upset about how “bad” Facebook is that she wanted to close her FB account (set up by one of her grandchildren). She wrote FB a letter asking to have her account closed and then couldn’t understand why she never heard back from them.

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