Woman says Facebook hackers deleted photos, harassed friends

Emily Durling says she has lost a treasure trove of family photos

Published on August 13, 2017

The above screen shot is how the Facebook page for South Maitland resident Emily Durling now looks after it was hacked into by unknown perpetrators earlier this week. And many of her friends are reporting similar situations involving their Facebook accounts, she said.

SOUTH MAITLAND, N.S. – A South Maitland woman says she has lost numerous family photos and is dealing with other issues after her Facebook account was hacked.

“I just want to warn people. I don’t know how to stop them,” Emily Durling said, of whoever has hacked into her account.

I just want to warn people. I don’t know how to stop them.

Emily Durling

“There’s like a whole year’s worth of photos gone off there. I don’t know what to do. I can’t get back into my Facebook to save all my pictures.”

Durling said her issues started several days ago after she noticed what appeared to be Arabic writing under her bio information.

“But I didn’t think anything of it and I just deleted it,” she said late last week. “And then this morning I get a call from my friend and she says your Facebook has been hacked.”

The friend had received a video call around 6 a.m. Wednesday that appeared to be coming from Durling’s cellphone. When she answered, however, two men appeared on the video transmission speaking what seemed to be Arabic. When the friend asked how they had gotten Durling’s number, the two men hung up and then blocked her from Durling’s Facebook account.

And Durling said since then, the perpetrators have been causing further havoc for herself and other Facebook friends, whose information is being converted into what they believe to be Arabic.

“They’ve deleted all my passwords and everything and as quick as I can change them they’re changing them back again,” she said.

“As quick as I can get into my Facebook they’re logging me out again.”

Durling said she uses her Facebook account like a photo album in which to store family photos. And what has been the most disconcerting aspect of the experience is that many of those pictures now are lost, including all the pictures she had of her young granddaughters.

“It’s devastating to me to lose all our family pictures,” she said. “It’s like a collection of 10 years for me.”

Based on what she is hearing from her friends, Durling said the problem is spreading throughout a wide network of Facebook connections.

“They’re logging into all my friend’s list and changing everything. I don’t know how they are getting everyone’s passwords,” said Durling, who is reaching out to all her Facebook friends to ask them to delete or block her from their accounts.

“A few more of my friends told me (on Friday) that their Facebook pages started showing up with Arabic writing on it,” she said.

Colchester District RCMP Cpl. Marc Rose said he has not heard of any similar complaints being made through the Bible Hill detachment.

But he said anyone who feels they have been made a victim of identity theft or other fraudulent activity is encouraged to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.