How to spot social media impersonators or hackers and how to prevent them

Nina Pineda Image
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
What to do if you are hacked on social media
Nina Pineda has tips to help you avoid get you out of a social media jam.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's becoming a bigger and bigger complaint: getting locked out of your own Facebook or Instagram page or having someone make a profile pretending to be you.

This happened to 7 On Your Side's own Nina Pineda, who detailed her experience on Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10.

Nina Pineda shares her experience in getting impersonated on social media and explains how to handle similar situations.

There was a screengrab of Nina's face on someone else's Instagram account and they were reaching out to her friends for follows.

A friend and colleague texted her to ask if it was her. It wasn't - the account was named Ninpin12437, but the private page featured Nina's picture and some of her followers started to follow the imposter.

So, what are they after?

What will likely follow when this happens is a post for fake fundraising, a donation solicitation from them, or maybe an enticement to buy Bitcoin or crypto.

What's scary is that because of the credibility of 7 On Your Side, if people think we are making an endorsement or an appeal, they may send money or maybe buy something that's fake.

In this case, it was different from a regular hack when crooks access your official page.

To prevent that, change all of your passwords to prevent a hacker from gaining access.

When you use your page for business or for charity, it's very damaging because you get locked out and then your followers get targeted.

7 On your Side helped an actress and a breast cancer survivor who used her page for fundraising after it got hacked and her friends and followers started sending donations to the hacker.

Here's how to know if you have been hacked:

-You email or password was changed. Beware of text or emails telling you asking you to click on links or take action.

- If you get friend requests from people you don't know or birthday messages

- You see messages sent you didn't write

- You see posts you didn't create

To help prevent getting hacked:

- Don't share or or reuse your login and password

- Log out of any shared devices

- Don't accept friend requests from strangers

- Enable multi-factor authentication where you get a text or email to prove it's really you

7 On Your Side is still trying to recover the Rescue Me Rescue page. Meta has not responded to our request. However, Nina Pineda reported the imposter page in Instagram and Ninapin12437 was disabled. So make sure you report it right away if you are being impersonated or locked out of your own page.

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