Nottinghamshire woman issues warning after hackers blackmail her on social media

Residents of Nottinghamshire have been warned about the dangers of cybercrime after a woman revealed how her Facebook account was hacked and ‘rude’ messages were sent to her friends.

By Lucy Roberts
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 3:26 pm

North Nottinghamshire resident Donna Potter said the hacker also sent messages to her husband claiming she was cheating on him after taking over her account.

The hacker then demanded she send Amazon gift card vouchers in return for having her access restored.

“It really upset me,” said Mrs Potter.

Donna Potter's Facebook account was hacked.

"The hacker started sending messages to my friends pretending to be me. The messages were quite rude but fortunately they asked my husband if that was me sending them, which of course it wasn’t.

“My husband then contacted the hacker by messaging my account and the hacker replied to say I was having sex with another man. It did cause us problems.”

Mrs Potter said the fraudulent messages made her feel anxious and so she called the police.

Nottinghamshire Police’s cyber crime unit helped the 34-year-old set up a new Facebook account and gave her advice on keeping her online information safe from criminals.

Create a strong password to stop people hacking your online accounts.

Mrs Potter said she wanted others to learn from her experience, as the hacker was able to access her account because of a weak password.

She is now urging others to review their passwords on all online accounts, especially social media and email by having strong, separate passwords using three random words and to enable Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) to help protect themselves.

She said: “If you use a child’s name or a pet’s name, the chances are a hacker will be able to hack your password.

“I’ve had to set up a new account and I’ve now got a much stronger password that contains 40 characters.”

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Kirsty Jackson, one of the force’s specialist cyber protect officers, added: “We know people like to use social media everyday so it’s vitally important you keep your accounts and data safe.

“In most cases, cybercriminals were able to gain access using old or weak passwords.”

If you believe any of your accounts have been compromised, report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.