Rising Facebook Profile and Business Account Theft: How it Happens


News Team

In the past year, there has been a significant increase in cyber attacks targeting WhatsApp and Facebook accounts, including personal profiles and business pages. The High Technology Investigation Division (Divindat) of the National Police of Peru (PNP) has reported an average of 200 complaints related to computer crimes each month. This trend indicates a growing sophistication in the tactics used by cybercriminals and a greater vulnerability among users of popular social platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

The hijacking of accounts for scam purposes has become a common tactic, affecting the digital security of numerous entrepreneurs and individuals who rely on these platforms for their businesses and personal interactions. Kidnappers are targeting close relatives of entrepreneurs in fields such as gastronomy, transportation, and independent professionals.

In 2023, Peru registered a total of 2,485 cases linked to computer crimes, with the theft of WhatsApp accounts and unauthorized access to profiles and business pages on Facebook and Instagram being among the most common violations. Colonel Luis Huamán Santamaría, who leads the PNP Division, emphasized the need to strengthen online security measures and raise awareness about the risks associated with using networks and services on the Internet.

To combat this form of crime, Divindat is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases, as well as implementing prevention strategies. However, closer cooperation between security entities, technology companies, and users is still needed to guarantee digital security.

The Police have identified several types of scams, including identity theft on digital platforms, fake applications, and malware designed to steal personal information through mobile devices. They recommend activating two-step verification, protecting chats with passwords, and logging out of all accounts on other people’s devices to increase account security.

Additionally, users are urged to be cautious of any application that offers to verify who visited their profile on social networks, as this functionality is not available on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It is important to report suspicious messages and avoid providing personal information without verifying the source, especially when dealing with alleged representatives of Meta warning about sanctions on Facebook. By taking these precautions, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to cybercriminals.

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