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Facebook users warned against hacking

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People are being conned out of their hard-earned cash.

FACEBOOK users have been warned to be aware of an increase in the number of hacking incidents where people are being conned out of their hard-earned cash.

A recent incident involved local artist Lucky Nche, who was unaware that his Facebook account had been hacked.

Nche was alerted after a friend called him regarding his “request” for money to be transfered into his bank account.

When he realised that his account had been hacked, Nche tried to log onto his account to block the hacker, but was unable to get access.

According to Nche, by that time two of his contacts had already sent him R600 each via e-wallet and money transfers.

One of his contacts, who found his apparent request for money strange, contacted Nche.

“The hacker, pretending to be Nche, kept on insisting that I try to borrow money from some of my friends when I responded that I did not have any money. I then became suspicious and asked Nche to contact me,” the Facebook friend said.

According to Nche, once the hacker had obtained access to his Facebook account, the person requested money from his contacts.

It is believed that the hacker gained access to the Facebook account through a video that was send to the account owner.

“I believe that the video which I received yesterday gave the hacker access to my Facebook account,” Nche said.

“The hacker then managed to block me out of my own account in order to do his thing,” a concerned Nche explained.

He said it showed that his account had been logged in from Johannesburg.

“It was so frustrating because I could see all the chat notifications but could not log on or respond to warn my contacts that they were being asked to give money under false pretences.

“By the time I manage to log on it was too late as two people had already paid the money,” Nche said.

He added that he eventually managed to block the hacker and warned all his contacts.

“The two who paid the money managed to reverse the transfers immediately.”

Nche approached the media for assistance to warn members of the public about the scam.

The SAPS Cyber Crime unit in the Northern Cape confirmed that it was investigating all technology-related crimes.

Although the unit could not reveal the number of cases being investigated currently, police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, said the unit strived to recover information and intelligence that was pertinent to the investigation.

“The Cyber Crime unit is investigating all incidents of cyber-crime that is reported to the police,” said Ramatseba.

The police provided the following safety tips to avoid cyber crime:

* Always use strong passwords. Refrain from birth dates and ID numbers. Have complicated passwords by combining letters, numbers, and special characters with a minimum of 8 characters.

* Secure your computer by activating a firewall, use antivirus software and block spyware attacks.

* Be social media savvy by making sure your social networking profiles are set on private, be very careful what information you post online.

* Secure your mobile device by always being aware of viruses and hackers.