KAKE NEWS INVESTIGATES: Wichita woman's Facebook is hacked


Whether you run a business, a fan club or even a news station, the number of followers you have on social media could make you more enticing to hackers.

A Wichita woman found out the hard way that working hard for followers can get you targeted.

"I didn't want to get into trouble with anybody," says Connie Ohler, still shaken by what happened to her.

Ohler was on vacation this spring when Facebook sent her an alert, saying she'd been kicked out of her account.

"They had logged me off, because I had attempted to impersonate someone I wasn't," Ohler explains.

Her Facebook page is a fan club for former South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy.

It was meant to be a fun adventure for her and her daughter, who lives in S.C.

"We were talking about Trey Gowdy and how much we liked him. And we thought it would be fun to start a fan club page for him in Kansas, just to see how many people like Trey Gowdy. I thought I might get 100 members or something. But I got nearly 24,000."

And it's precisely that high number of followers that made Ohler's fan club a target of hackers.

"The reason being is because those scammers, when they hijack those accounts that have a lot of followers can then sell that information on the black market to maybe a scammer that is trying to push out a particular product or service," explains Denise Groene, with the Better Business Bureau.

KAKE On Your Side Investigates got on the phone with Facebook, and here's what they advise:

First, enable two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security. Once you do, anyone trying to log in from an unrecognized device will be asked for a special code.

Then, sign up to receive alerts for unrecognized logins. These alerts will tell you what device, like a phone or iPad, tried logging in and where it's located.

Also, if you find someone trying to access your account, don't forget to report the incident to Facebook.

And finally, change your password.

"Somebody else now has access to that (password). Hopefully, you don't have the same password on other accounts. But if you do, take the time immediately to go through and change all of those passwords," advises Groene.

That's exactly what Ohler is doing, now that she's back in business, spreading the word of her favorite politician.

"I felt perfectly safe. Because it was just it was a fun thing. And we were enjoying it and thought it was pretty cool that we got all these members and was never meant to be anything as scary as this," says Ohler.

Taking these steps to secure your profile is a good idea, no matter how many followers you have.

If you have a tip for KAKE On Your Side Investigates, connect with us on social media, call, or e-mail us at investigates@kake.com.