Identity Theft - A Very Personal Hacking Attack

Recently, a US woman was hacked and her personal data held to ransom. She contacted us to tell her story and has kindly agreed that we can tell it to you here. It's a grave warning about the dangers of identity theft and how vulnerable we can be when digital communications platforms are so easily exploited by online criminals.  Everyone needs to be aware of these dangers. 

This is her experience of trying to get help from social media companies and the police. 

“My Apple ID and Facebook were hacked from within an app. The hacker is from the Ukraine. He targeted me for a high profile game which, according to Apple, is the source of the breach. He changed all of my information so I can't verify my account. All of my personal information is now in their hands to include Social Security, ID's, mortgage application, bank accounts, credit cards, Google saved passwords to 87 accounts, my emails, messages, photo's." 

“I was contacted today by another person claiming to be a police officer from the Ukraine. He said he bought an iPhone on the Internet with a Lords Mobile game on it and now the game disappeared. The game disappeared because I disputed charges and they locked it. He now wants me to pay him the $1000 he paid for to get my accounts back. The phone isn't mine. The apple ID on it is mine. Both the hacker and the buyer of the phone now have access to all of my data."

“I had searched the Ukraine police and clicked a link that said it was their cyber security team but no responses. I have also contacted both Apple and Facebook multiple times but can’t get a positive response. 

“Apple can’t help me because the hacker changed everything that verifies me as me within 1 hour on July 21. In that same hour he did the same to Facebook. And Facebook doesn’t respond to my multiple attempts to send my photo ID, reports of my stolen acct, and you can’t contact a real person."

“I contacted my local police but they laughed because the hacker is in Ukraine. Nothing they can do. Also called the FBI since its identity theft and my money was accessed. They can’t really help either. "

“The hacker changed 5 things for Apple. 1. To change my password. 2. To change my recovery email. 3. To add his phone number. 4 to remove my phone number and 5. To change my Apple ID to his email. The next day he removed my iPhone and erased all in my device. Apple sees all his info, but they can’t compromise his privacy!"

" I think people should know that the company that constantly touts themselves as the most secure operating system was the easiest and fastest for the hacker to get. He entered through an app on my phone, a game and on which I have a high profile player account and he sold it for $1000 along with some one’s stolen phone."

“He contacted me on my personal and work email trying to get me to pay the $1000 he paid to the hacker in return for my accounts. Is he really the hacker? Or are there really 2 different low life trying to rob me. My phone contains everything!  This is identity theft, theft of money, theft of a $10-12k digital game, fraud, theft of data, privacy and data breach, impersonation of a police officer since his email said he is a police officer of the Ukraine." 

"Maybe you can use this information, maybe you can’t. Either way, turn off your iCloud, your Google cloud, don’t back up your smart phone anywhere but an external hard drive." 

“Don’t upload documents to your phone, keep email and chats clear, keep your contacts somewhere safe, don’t pay bills or keep apps to them on your smart phone and don’t connect your credit cards or bank info to any smart phone or digital wallet. Don’t keep identification, emailed attachments like W2’s or mortgage info on a digital device or digital storage”.  

If you have any advice or suggestions for the victim of this crime please contact Cyber Security Intelligence.

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