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Content Creation Marketing Social Media

Have you checked your Facebook Ad Account lately?

Hacker on its desk

In today’s blog, I want to share a cautionary tale about a hacked Facebook ad account that racked up $200 in charges within just a few hours. The swift action and the role of message notifications played a crucial part in mitigating the damage.

How we knew the Facebook account was hacked

The story unfolded one crisp fall evening after a family birthday dinner. As a habit, I checked my phone and found an unexpected Facebook Messenger notification for my relative’s business page. The message, curiously in Spanish, inquired about a $2000 Jeep listed for sale. This was odd, considering my relative is a Realtor, not a car salesman.

Compromised account and what we did

Upon investigation, it was clear his account had been compromised, likely tied to a previous security breach. Multiple ads were active, bizarrely promoting vehicle sales across the USA. The hackers were ambitious, setting one ad’s daily budget at a staggering $856!

The ads directed traffic to a sketchy, free website designed to phish for personal information through a car sales scam, all while charging an unsuspecting victim’s credit card. Thankfully, I managed to alert the website platform hosting the scam pages, and they promptly took them down.

Normally, I receive notifications when ads are approved because I manage the ad accounts, but this time I didn’t since it wasn’t an account under my preview.

This incident underscores several critical security measures:

  1. Enable Notification Alerts: Stay informed about your ad account activities by setting up notifications.
  2. Regularly Change Passwords: An essential practice to protect your accounts.
  3. Activate Two-Factor Authentication: Adds an extra layer of security, alerting you to unauthorized access attempts.
  4. Monitor Your Facebook Business Page: Especially vital if your page is linked to an ad account.

We acted swiftly to halt the ads and reported the incident to Facebook, preventing further financial loss. This episode is a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and robust security measures in safeguarding your digital presence.


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