“In Midland and Alpine, to our knowledge, there are 19 reports with reported losses in excess of $350,000.”
MIDLAND, Texas — As more social media becomes available, there are more opportunities for hackers to threaten or steal from you, including here in West Texas over the last year.
“In Midland and Alpine, to our knowledge, there are 19 reports with over $350,000 in reported casualties,” said Special Agent Jeanette Harper of the FBI’s El Paso field office.
If you find that you’ve been hacked, here’s what you should do to stop or minimize the damage.
“Try changing your password immediately and take your account back from the hacker,” Harper said.
If you can’t recover your account, start warning your friends and family.
“Try to notify all of your contacts that you may have, because your account got hacked, someone sends a link to your contact list, and then the scam goes on, and now we have other people who are becoming victims,” Harper said .
Some hackers might want you to pay to get your account back, but authorities say don’t.
“The FBI does not encourage you to pay the ransom because it only fuels criminal activity,” Harper said.
Some tips to prevent your account from being hacked in the first place are to use passphrases instead of words, change your password regularly, and use security settings.
“We ask that you go into security settings and turn on two-factor authentication,” Harper said.
If you are hacked on social media, you can report it to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/.