AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The stay at home orders across the two state mean more people are turning to online shopping. The more you shop via computer or mobile phone, the more your financial data is shared over the internet.
One family was not necessarily shopping, but shared their horror of finding out they had been hacked.
Keeping your personal information safe can be hard when almost everywhere online requires it from usernames to passwords and bank account data.
For Scott Tillman, it started with something almost everyone does, social networking.
“Well, I went to check my Facebook page and I wasn’t able to get into Facebook,” the 18-year-old high school senior told NewsChannel 6.
Moments later, Tillman said he checked his bank account and found a purchase he did not make.
“On my bank statement, when I reviewed my bank account, it said Sara Necker, California. CashApp,” he recalled.
Tillman said he was hacked and is still trying to figure out it if started on Facebook and branched out to his CashApp and bank. He and his mother contacted the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office last Wednesday. A case report shows they did just that, detailing their story of losing hundreds of dollars through fraud. And it didn’t stop there. With access to Tillman’s Facebook Page, the hacker tagged more than 40 of his friends to a post promising to give 600 bucks to the first 150 people to comment on that post with the word cash.
“My friend called me and said, you need to look on your Facebook. Where did you get all this money from? There is this post where somebody is posing as me saying you can get 150 dollars if you send 50 and you can get 400 if you send 200,” he said.
And Tillman said one of his friends also fell victim to the scam and went to his home demanding his cash and even threatened him with a weapon.
Tillman’s mother, Courtney Hawkins recalled that day last Friday. They said it was around 1:00 in the morning.
“He got a knock at the door and the friend was at the door and said I just want my money,” she explained, saying her son told the friend it was a scam. “He pulled out his phone and showed him, man I’ve been hacked too. He was trying to show him on the phone how it went about. From there, the young man snatched the phone out his hand. He went to reach back and grab the phone out his hand and he pulled out a taser and threatened to tase him.”
The hacker contacted one friend through Messenger posing as Tillman with the same name and same profile photo. He offered the same deal as in the post and when called through messenger, claimed to have a sore throat. The family learned the company behind it all is Dynasty Global World, something Tillman said he believes is a hit man gaming group. Since then, Tillman has created a new Facebook Page, canceled CashApp and plans to use pre-paid credit cards.
“Like I told him, this is a life lesson,” Hawkins said. “You see so many different things online.”
The Federal Trade Commission warns that you should not trust unexpected money requests, even if you know the person. See more fraud tips here. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau if you do not trust a company and check that company’s business rating.