Get Garcia, Get Results: Facebook Users Battle Email-Attacking Worm

Users’ most popular complaint against Facebook is that they don’t have a customer service center to call.

By Ana Garcia and Robbi Peele
|  Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 3:16 PM PDT
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A worm attacking Facebook pages through fake Nike ads is continuing to plague users of the social networking site as hackers gain control of Facebook pages via bogus ads, but NBC4's Get Garcia Team is getting results for users whose profiles, emails and online identity have been compromised. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 25, 2012.

A worm attacking Facebook pages through fake Nike ads is continuing to plague users of the social networking site as hackers gain control of Facebook pages via bogus ads, but NBC4's Get Garcia Team is getting results for users whose profiles, emails and online identity have been compromised. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 25, 2012.

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A worm attacking Facebook pages through fake Nike ads is continuing to plague users of the social networking site as hackers gain control of Facebook pages via bogus ads, but NBC4's Get Garcia Team is getting results for users whose profiles, emails and online identity have been compromised.

“Shortly after I was hacked, a Nike ad went up and every single person on my Facebook page was tagged with that ad,” said Charles Casillo, a screenwriter whose account was hacked.

The worm gets in when people try to delete or un-tag themselves from the ad.

“It was very frustrating,” Casillo said.

The Get Garcia team at NBC4News first reported the problem in May, when the Get Garcia team met LA-based set dresser Chad Sanders who suspects he hit the phony ad by accident.

“There was nothing I could do I was totally locked out of everything,” Sanders told NBC4 at the time, adding that he lost more than 1,000 contacts and years of photos.

Sanders said Facebook took too long: three weeks to shut down the hacker, and now he can’t get his original page back.

“There’s no way to get a hold of Facebook by email or by phone number,” Sanders said at the time.

Experts said hackers are motivated to take over Facebook profiles and emails, shutting out the rightful owners because identity theft is so lucrative.

Cyber security expect Johnny Gannon said hackers get $10 dollars on the black market for every ID they steal.

“They try to infect as many people as they can and… trick people into clicking a link to spread their virus to more machines,” he said.

Casillo contacted the Get Garcia team asking for help after he saw the first investigation. He said he couldn’t get Facebook to restore his page.

“Once you got in involved, I think it was 48 hours,” Casillo said. “It was really quick.”

Users’ most popular complaint against Facebook is that they don’t have a customer service center to call.

Facebook said that’s the industry standard: other massive online companies, like eBay and Twitter, don’t have call centers either.

Still, the Get Garcia team got results for almost every case they forwarded to Facebook.

Facebook users wrote to the Get Garcia team, thanking them for the help getting their profiles restored.

Ace Champion wrote: "Dang girl u got connections love your show!"

Artis Houston said he had "fast, effective results" after the Get Garcia team stepped in, and Josh Robers, who was hacked while on a medical trip to Africa, seemed to speak for the vast number of Facebook users who were disappointed they had to jump through hoops at all.

"It's just frustrating that I couldn't get a hold of anyone without getting you involved," Robers wrote.

Do have a tip you'd like the Get Garcia team to investigate? Call 818-520-TIPS or email GetGarcia@nbcuni.com.

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