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When a person is victimized, it could damage their reputation and cost thousands of dollars in ad revenue. That’s exactly what happened to Dale Berry, the owner of a preschool English academy in Japan who had his Facebook account hacked by scammers. Hackers ran fake ads on his account, which drained his business of money and left him with a bad reputation.

The hackers initially targeted users who had weak passwords like “qwerty” and “password.” Once they have access to an account, they look at the top five most well-known friends and impersonate one of them to ask for a password reset number. The hackers then make use of an additional security feature that lets users add trusted contacts to their account in case they forget their password. They can then ask these trusted friends to provide them with the one-time password to gain access to the account.

Selling stolen login credentials is another method hackers can gain access. Recently the cache of 26,000,000 Amazon, LinkedIn, and Facebook passwords were discovered for sale on dark web. Many of these were leaked through custom Trojan malware that infiltrated millions of Windows-based computers between 2018 through 2020.

Users can avoid these attacks by always making sure that the address bar on their browser is Facebook and not another website. Users should create a password comprised of letters, numbers and spaces and never use it for other email or social media accounts. They should also check their notifications for activity regularly. Twitter, for example, sends out a notification whenever there’s an unusual login from an unfamiliar device or location.