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'It's a nightmare' | Woman's hacked Facebook account used to scam others

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 19:38:06-04

WHITE HOUSE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Imagine having your Facebook account hacked and used to rip off other people. Michelle Clinard doesn't have to imagine — the issue has come straight to her front door. "This has been a nightmare," said Clinard.

The ordeal began with a call for help. What Clinard thought was a person in need, turned out to be a hacker. "I did send money because I thought -- you know -- it was a person," she said.

Somehow, the information she gave, granted the hacker what they needed to log in, change the password and kick Clinard out of her own Facebook account. "I couldn’t get in, I was locked out," said Clinard.

That's when the emails and texts, begging for a ransom began. One message read: I’ll stop scamming you can message me so we can talk about that.

When Clinard refused to pay, the hacker started using her account, still in her name, in other ways to make money. "He puts up posts for a PS5 and he puts up a post for these little Yorkie dogs. I don’t have either one of those and don’t care to have either one of those," she explained.

If that wasn't enough, then the hacker gave Clinard's address to customers, to come pick up their items. Because these customers had prepaid the hacker, and Clinard didn't have the items, she often found herself opening the door to dangerous situations. So instead of answering, she just calls the police. "I don’t know what to do, I really don’t know what to do. I just need to get the word out that it’s not me, it’s not me," said Clinard.

Clinard says she has someone come to her door for an order about once a week. To make matters worse, Clinard has quite the Facebook following. A few years back, her daughter Mary Lynne Keith, battled cancer. "She was 16 when she passed. She battled cancer for 5 years," said Clinard.

Clinard says she used her Facebook page as a way to collect all the well wishes. She's now sickened that a hacker would exploit that following to rip off others. "It kills me, it literally kills me that he’s taking advantage of people," she said.

She's reported her old account multiple times to Facebook but the page still remains up. So an ordeal that began with a call for help, seems to be stuck in one. "Take it down, take that page down," said Clinard.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Facebook for this story. So far, we haven't heard back.