Saturday, July 1, 2023

I've Been Hacked

 Yesterday may have been one of the worst days of my life.  My Facebook was hacked.  And when I say hacked, I mean they wiped out my personal account and my author account and took over by creating a new one.  I have lost nine years of work on my author page.  Someone out there in another country has full control of my author page.  If you are a follower of Jane O'Brien on Facebook, I recommend you block me.  Believe me, it's not me.

I recently thought I was hacked on a small scale, because my friends were getting messages to follow them when they already had.  You've all seen those.  So I quickly changed my password on both accounts and my profile picture, so I could identify which page was really mine.  My author page had a book cover of my newest book, Skye.  It's red so you can't miss it.  They only one you can see now, still has my face in the profile circle.  I had over 1100 followers and this one has 737.

They deleted both of my email names from Facebook's records and even my phone number.  Then they installed a two-step verification of their own.  I can see the name of the person who is using my account to mine followers names.  There's no way I can get in, and Facebook is unreachable.  I'm very disappointed in them and wonder if I should continue on.  

I immediately froze my banks accounts just in case they had access, but I don't think so.  I've been working on this for two days, and decided it's fruitless.  Nine years of work just went down the tubes.

I will rebuild, but it will take time.  So in a week or so, I will try to start a new Facebook page, and I will try to reach as many of you as possible.  I have a newsletter list and a list of people who have won contests and giveaways over the years, so that might help.  And I will plead with family and friends to share my new page.  In the meantime, protect yourself and block my page as it stands now.  Do not engage with them.  These are despicable people.  I don't understand why Facebook doesn't have a call number so you can speak to a human, but I suppose they would be overwhelmed, because according to my banker, she sees this many times a week.  They are far more sophisticated than they used to be.

Thank you for listening.  I pray this never happens to you.  I took many precautions, but I believe it may have happened when I downloaded a particular app on my phone, which I'm afraid to name here, because they might after me again.

Stay cyber safe.  But when they want to get in, they can and will.

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