September 23, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Facebook accounts hacked to cheat

Facebook accounts hacked to cheat

Quebecers have had their Facebook accounts hacked by fraudsters who use their profile to scam buyers on the popular online sales site Marketplace.

Once they take control of a Facebook profile, fraudsters use it to sell shipping containers that are never delivered, among other things.

The cost of containers has increased during the pandemic. In the marketplace, this cargo is sometimes shown at two-thirds or half of the actual price, says Eric Mervicini, a sales representative for SEA Containers, a good indicator of a scam, who refers to J’s Group. Tonight.

Eric Mervicini

Photo taken from Facebook Market

Many proofs

The group tracked down five people who claimed to be victims of social media identity theft. This is the case of Saint-Hyacinthe lyricist Stéphane St-Georges.

Our group met him first because he sold containers. But he was not the one who made the announcement.

“I felt it because I couldn’t fit in anymore [mon profil]. I can’t do anything anymore. I complained on Facebook. »

The Facebook profile of a woman from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was also hacked. He posted a picture of a container that sells for $4,800 on the marketplace.

The person behind the account requested an Interac transfer deposit to reserve the property. However, the photo and container are owned by Conteneurs SEA, which confirms that it has no connection with the profile.

Millions every day

Facebook defends itself by saying that millions of fake accounts are disabled every day.

“Thanks to artificial intelligence, we are dealing with fake accounts more efficiently,” writes a consultant at the Doct agency on behalf of the social network.

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The Sûreté du Québec confirms that complaints of fraud through the Facebook marketplace are increasing. As of 2021, less than 20% of fraud cases have been apprehended.

His address was used without his knowledge

A Quebec woman’s address was spoofed to open a shipping container company that advertised merchandise on Facebook Marketplace.

MCZ Containers website still mentions that the head office is in Quebec. This is actually Nancy’s house in the Neufchadel district.

Nancy agreed to talk about her story, asking that her last name not be published.

“In May 2022, we received a letter from the Quebec government […]. We thought it was strange. Two days later, a man came for his friend who had ordered a container. 2,000 had been paid. »

They knock on his door

Buyers came to his house and searched for containers. She should tell them that she has nothing to do with the company. A few months ago, she wondered: “Does someone who is really traumatized by a situation become aggressive? »

Luckily, the buyers haven’t seen Nancy since we met her earlier in the summer.

He says the Quebec police did not want to accept his complaint.

“All information related to these cases will be collected and put together to lead to comprehensive operations,” wrote David Pelletier of the Quebec police.

Officers referred her to the RCMP Fraud Prevention Centre, which only collects information.

The registration of MCZ Conteneurs in the Registraire des entreprises has been cancelled. The company did not respond to our calls.