CHICAGO (CBS) — Hacked.
Locked out.READ MORE: Arwady On COVID Cases In Chicago: We Are Moving In The Wrong Direction, Lolla Attendees Should Take Precautions
No access to years’ worth of family photos.
Our story on a local Facebook hacking victim touched a nerve with people across the country, and now they’re telling us about their own struggles to regain access to their accounts.
CBS 2’s Insider Tim McNicholas set out to learn why it is so hard to get control of your page again.
One Hacker Way is the tongue-in-cheek address for Facebook’s California headquarters.
But to hacking victims, the word is not so funny.
“It’s just super-frustrating,” said Janelle Harrison.
“Some of my friends there, you know, that’s the only contact information that I have,” said Yuriy Nemets. “I have friends and family members all over the world.”
People from across the country started emailing us with their own hacking stories this week, after seeing our report on Heather Mack from the northwest suburbs – who was locked out of her account.
“It’s so frustrated that I’m not able to speak to anybody at all in regards to what happened or why it happened,” Mack said.
Harrison, of Alabama, said she has tried the same thing for two months.READ MORE: Aldermen Urge Passage Of 'Anjanette Young Ordinance' Seeking Sweeping Changes To CPD Search Warrant Procedures; 'We Have An Obligation To Change Policy'
“I know that a big company like that, you would think that could go to the backup from the 21st and recover the account,” she said.
Nemets is an attorney in D.C., who is considering legal action because he can’t get a hold of a real person. When he tries to follow the steps to unlock it, Facebook sends him automated texts in a language he can’t read – possibly because the hackers changed it.
The texts also include a six-digit code needed for the recovery process.
“When I enter that code (sent to him in the texts) on their website to retrieve my account, it just says ‘We’ve encountered an error,'” Nemets said.
We wanted to know why a social media giant doesn’t have a better system for handling hacks.
So we turned to a fraud expert – Professor William Kresse, or Professor Fraud – with Governors State University.
“I think most of it is just they’re pretty overwhelmed,” Kresse said. “The bad guys are going after those Facebook accounts. And they’re trying to keep up, they’re hiring new people all the time, but it’s a pretty daunting task.”
Mack finally wound up getting back in after we started asking questions to Facebook.
“I’m just so relieved to have it back,” she said.
As for Nemets, he plans to mail a letter about his problems to – you guessed it, One Hacker Way.
“It’s like, how ironic is that?” he said.
Professor Fraud said you should make sure you change your passwords frequently and don’t use the same one for all your accounts.MORE NEWS: Nine More States Added To Chicago Travel Advisory
Facebook never explained why its customer service failed these two viewers, but previously told us it is taking steps to improve its process.