Internet hackers hit Fargo businessman, stealing money and social media profiles

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Fargo man and downtown business owner is warning the community tonight after he says his Facebook accounts were hacked, over $1,500 was drained from his accounts and he was locked out of both his personal and business profiles possibly for good.

Inksterz Tattoo Studio was only opened seven months ago, but has had a relatively fast-growing following on social media. Owner Rob Thompson says about 90 percent of their clients have found them from their Facebook or Instagram, but hackers tried to throw a wrench in that.

Thompson says he was notified on Sunday that his password on his personal Facebook account had been changed, before receiving another email.

“It said my Facebook account had been disabled because it went against community standards,” he said.

Thompson says hackers changed his profile photo to a picture of the ISIS flag, which locked Thompson out indefinitely to both his page and the Inksterz business page.

“I’m like, ‘What the heck is going on here?!’” Thompson said.

Thompson says when he realized he had been hacked, he shut down his Venmo account linked to the Inksterz Facebook page as fast as he could, but says it was already too late.

Thompson says hackers put an ad for women’s slip-on shoes in his name, and Thompson says the ad garnered nearly 45,000 views. Facebook later charged him for the ads which totaled more than $1,500.

“I’m not sure how they get the money from Facebook or if they’re doing it that way because they can or if they found a back door,” he said.

After multiple attempts to get back into his accounts, Thompson reached out to our Whistle Blower Hotline and within hours of our reporter contacting Facebook Wednesday afternoon, his profiles were restored with some restrictions.

And while excited to have his pages back, Thompson says he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

He warns other business owners to change passwords and make sure two-factor authentication is turned on.

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