A South Yorkshire woman has called for more protection from social media companies, after her account was hacked and three of her friends lost money as a result.
Christine Sharp, 49, had her Facebook account compromised and messages were sent to her friends asking for money.
Three of her friends believed the messages to be genuine and lost £385 each.
Christine said: “I was absolutely mortified when I found out what had happened.
“The first I knew of it was when one of my friends called me.
“Once the first friend had sent the money, they received another message asking for another £385. That’s when they realised something was up.”
Christine believes more should be done by social media companies to protect people from hackers.
She said: “If you tell Facebook they’re not really interested.
“They’re quick on banning people for other things, but never stop anyone from getting scammed.”
Christine has been told it’s extremely hard to track down the perpetrators of these crimes and it’s unlikely her friends will get their money back.
Users commenting on the South Yorkshire Police statement on Facebook have sympathised with her situation.
One user said: “This happened to me a few months ago from an old school friend, I just said I don’t have that kind of money. Its dreadful.”
Another told of how they’d lost £400 from a similar scam.
They said: “This happened to me last summer. I’m the most cautious person. I never thought this could happen to me.”
South Yorkshire Police Cyber Protect Officer Dannielle Lee provides advice on online safety as part of her role.
She said: “Sadly, hackers will exploit people’s kindness and generosity with the aim of pocketing the cash.”
Officer Lee has also provided some tips for users to follow in order to stay safe online.
They include using a different password for every account, turning on Two Factor Authentication and making sure any recovery contact details are-up-to-date.
She also urged users to double check unusual messages asking for financial help, even from those who you know and trust.
If you have been a victim of cyber crime or fraud, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.