My Facebook was 'hacked' when I clicked on a used car advert… now it is being used to scam drivers out of thousands | The Sun

A WOMAN has claimed her Facebook was hacked after clicking on a used car advert and the alleged scammers are said to be using it to defraud drivers.

Ellie White Turner, 20, says she has been locked out of her account and the US social media giant has done nothing to help get her profile back.

She claims the alleged fraudsters are using her profile to flood the site’s Marketplace platform with illicit ads seemingly selling cars and rock-bottom prices.

It’s said the ads have been lifted from real classifieds but the scammers, who offer to “deliver” the car with a money-back guarantee, just vanish with the cash once the money has been sent over by the victim.

Ellie, whose profile contains personal photos, private family memories as well as personal contact details, believes she was drawn into the scam after she clicked on an ad for a used car.

It’s reported that more than 220 fake listings have been posted on her profile using legitimate car photos by the scammers in an attempt to defraud prospective car buyers.

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Ellie told MailOnline: “It seems like they (Facebook) don't really care about their members. It's too easy for hackers to get in and so many people are getting hacked.

“I'm only 20 years old so it's not like I've had any other account – this was the only Facebook I've ever had and it's got everything I've ever posted.

“I was tagged in so many things like when I passed my driving test, turned 20, all my birthdays – all gone.”

There are also fears that because her profile contained personal contact details, hackers could use this information for other nefarious action.

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Ellie had her profile compromised earlier this week as she browsed for a used car for her boyfriend.

This could have been through an illicit Marketplace listing, or a page posing as Facebook or even a legitimate used car website.

She added that she’s been locked out of her account because the hackers have changed her email address and phone number which were linked to her account.

Ellie claims the social network’s support centre have not responded to her requests for help in getting her account back.

She also says the adverts have been reported as scams but this hasn’t been successful either.

The news outlet contacted her hacked profile to ask about a used Mercedes-Benz which was being sold for just £5,600.

According to the paper, the car was actually being sold by a used car dealer in Scotland for nearly five times that amount – but the photos and details were apparently stolen from the real listing.

Responding to the enquiry, the person controlling her account requested that they made contact through an unrelated email address.

This tactic is said to be frequently used by swindlers to take the conversation off Facebook, to avoid any scam detection filters in place.

The email claimed the car was in “great shape” and was being sold cheaply because it had been “acquired from an auction”.

The would-be fraudster also claimed to represent a transportation firm, AJ Kelly Transport Ltd, based in Orpington, Kent.

The owner of the real AJ Kelly Transport, Tony Kelly, has previously warned anyone who gets a message claiming to offer a car under the guise of his firm that it will be a scam.

When the potential scammer was asked if they had stolen Ellie’s account and produced the details of the real advert they had taken the photos from, they stopped responding.

Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity advisor with ESET, an internet safety firm, has previously said Facebook is reluctant to deal with Marketplace scams due to it adding to the number of page views on the platform and so increasing the amount Facebook’s parent company Meta can charge advertisers.

He said: “Marketplace is a huge part of Facebook's business – it's one of the components that keeps people having a Facebook account and they are desperate to keep people on it.

“They will do small amounts to limit scams but I don't see them reducing it to zero because they can display adverts on these listings – so the best they offer is buyer awareness and putting warnings up.

“We saw it with cryptocurrency scams, and there was much made of the fact these were adverts Facebook was happy to take the money for while burying their head in the sand.”

Ellie’s dad, Matthew White, 43, is furious at he says is a lack of action and empathy from Facebook

He said the hack was an invasion of his daughter’s privacy and data protection, adding that it wasn’t good enough from the company.

Matthew said the company should face a fine or brought to court and thought they were enabling the scammers.

A spokesperson for Meta told The Sun Online: “We don’t allow fraudulent activity on our platform, and we are investigating the account brought to our attention.


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"We’re constantly working to improve our systems, and encourage anyone who sees content they believe breaks our rules to report it using our in-app tools so we can investigate and take action.”

In an update, Ellie now says Facebook has finally allowed her to reset her password and get into her old account.

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