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Warning to small businesses as Derbyshire business owner is targeted via Facebook

Clicking a fake Facebook notification led to weeks of anxiety and blocked access to an essential business page for one Derbyshire business owner, report Derbyshire Constabulary in this case study.

Businesses who rely heavily on a Facebook page to promote their goods and services are being warned to look out for the signs of suspicious activity after a Derbyshire business owner was targeted by malicious cyber criminals.

Carlo Laurenti, who owns and runs Derbyshire Wedding and Events, clicked a link after receiving a notification on Facebook saying that his page had been impersonating another.

Within seconds, his computer screen filled with various images, including indecent images of children, and Carlo lost access to his business page on Facebook.

“I was having very graphic images coming on, worst of all even child porn. I was absolutely lost, trying to unplug things but the damage was done.”

Carlo got in touch with his technical support team, and due to the nature of the images which had been displayed on his laptop, immediately contacted the police.

Detective Sergeant Steven Judge, who leads the Cybercrime and Digital Investigations Unit at Derbyshire Constabulary which dealt with Carlo’s case said:

“Sadly we are seeing criminal hackers using indecent images of children to ‘cover their tracks’ after gaining access to business pages on social media.
“Once they have gained access to an account through the victim clicking a link, they will look to take any personal or financial details from the page, even buying advertising, before posting explicit images to get the page shut down by Facebook.”
“In Derbyshire we have worked with Facebook to help victims of hacking to regain access to their accounts.
“We have also done further work to review Facebook’s processes, to ensure that they can pinpoint the hackers rather than punish the victims of hacking by erasing all trace of valuable pages that people rely on for their businesses.”

The advice to avoid these scams is to ‘Stop. Think. Tell.’ as criminals rely on victims feeling pressurised to act quickly and click on a link.

Carlo explains: “All it takes is that moment of distraction, being caught under pressure.”

He finished with: “If in doubt, just don’t click.”

Watch Carlo tell the full story in this video produced by Derbyshire Constabulary.



Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).



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