Indianapolis mom shocked when overseas hacker gets control of her Facebook page

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis mother says she never expected her Facebook account would be targeted by overseas hackers.

Tiesha Cook will be the first to tell you her life is pretty normal: she spends time with her young son, Jace, and a fair amount of time browsing social media.

"I’m just a person from Indiana. I figured they would try to (hack) someone famous," Cook said.

Instead, Cook is the one who's been hacked. She said a couple weeks ago, she noticed friend requests being accepted on her Facebook page that she didn't recognize, and then saw that someone had logged in from Iraq.

By the time Cook tried to fix it, she was locked out of the account, and her profile was changing. She noticed her name changed to another language first, then a new profile picture.

Other photos didn't change, though, including some with her son and her family members, which worried Cook.

"I’ve just been kind of freaked out. I don’t want to see my pictures on the internet or someone cat-fishing someone or using it to get money from people," Cook said.

Cook called CBS4 Problem Solvers after she reported the account to Facebook, but says she was told it did not violate the company's community standards. She's continued to report it ever since, hoping it will eventually be removed.

Cybersecurity expert Mark Pugh said unfortunately, Cook's story sounds familiar.

"It is not surprising whatsoever. That happens quite frequently, I’ve had it happen to family members," Pugh said.

Pugh said hackers don't care who you are: if they can access your account, they will.

"There’s money to be made in stealing your identity (or) stealing your information. Just a name, address, and phone number has value on the internet," Pugh said.

Pugh said you need to take precautions. Use a difficult password, and turn on measures like two-factor authentication. That way, if someone tries to log in from a different country, you'll get an alert.

Cook did that with a new account she created. Now she's hoping to get the word out and prevent someone else like her from being targeted.

"I definitely want people to be more secure in their settings and also what they post on the internet, because you just never know what can happen," Cook said.

You can report a hacked account to Facebook at the link here.

You can also find more tips from Pugh at the link here.

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