Hacked social media accounts used to post indecent images of children
Social media accounts are being hacked and flooded with indecent images of children, potentially causing distress and reputational damage to the account holder. Action Fraud reports of this nature have been increasing month on month since January 2022 and so far this year, over 60 reports have been received.
Based on the review of these Action Fraud reports, there appears to be no financial motivation behind this hacking, with no report received mentioning a ransom demand. Offenders have not been limited to just indecent images, but have reportedly uploaded videos of the same nature. The majority of victims were not aware of the hacking until they received an email from the social media platform informing them that their account had been suspended.
What you need to do
- If you come across indecent images of children online, report it to the police by calling 101 or visiting your local police station. You should take with you the device you were using when you came across the images.
- Do not, under any circumstances, screenshot, save or share the image. You will not be required to share the images with the police when making a report.
- Use 2-step verification (2SV) to protect your social media accounts. 2SV can keep people from gaining access to your accounts, even if they know your password.
- Ensure your social media accounts use a strong and different password to your other accounts. Combining 3 random words that each mean something to you is a great way to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to crack.
- Victims of account hacking should not pay any ransoms, whether it is monetary or in the form of a ‘testimony’ video.
- If your social media account has been hacked, you should report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.
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