Help! My Facebook account’s been hacked

PiXXart / Shutterstock.com
PiXXart / Shutterstock.com

Jan Walker’s friends are getting emails from someone else pretending to be her. Now Facebook has gone into radio silence and won’t help her shut down the impostor account. How do you get rid of your evil online twin?

Question: I’m writing to you because someone recently opened a new Facebook account under my name and I can’t get Facebook to close it. That person has contacted my friends and tried to defraud them. I’ve enclosed a document with the correspondence.

As you can see, it seems that some of my friends have come perilously close to getting defrauded. I attempted to report and disable the impersonated account, but accidentally entered the wrong confirmation number when I received a verification email from Facebook. I asked for a resend, but the message says several attempts to resend have failed. I never received any new number.

Read more

How do I get rid of the Facebook fakers?

1000 Words / Shutterstock.com
1000 Words / Shutterstock.com
Someone is spoofing the accounts of a celebrity’s wife and teenage kids. What’s an IT guy to do when Facebook ignores him?

Question: I handle IT for a celebrity in the UK, and we are having a problem with Facebook that we’re hoping you can help us with. Our client’s wife and two teenage children have set up Facebook accounts under aliases, for security reasons, but lately there has been a spate of fake profiles being made in their real names.

These profiles contain personal and private photographs of the family members and our client. Several of them purport to be our client or a member of his family. As I am sure you understand, this is very distressing for the family and could cause problems, as the power of Facebook to influence public opinion is huge.

We have gone through the online channels of reporting the fake profiles and requesting that Facebook remove them with limited success. Recently the profiles have become more personal and we have e-mailed Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg for help and have had no response. We have messaged the fake profilers requesting that they remove the profiles – again with limited success. Profiles come down, only to reappear a few hours later.

Read more

Want better airline service? Power up your smartphone

Ricardo Miguel Silva Saraiva/Shutterstock
Liz Owen needed help, and she needed it fast.

She had rescheduled a flight from Washington to Los Angeles on Virgin America to avoid superstorm Sandy, which was about to slam into the East Coast. But she’d forgotten to order a wheelchair.

Owen, who works for a nonprofit organization in Washington, had recently broken her foot, which was in a cast. “I had been on the phone on hold with Virgin America for well over an hour,” she remembers. Halfway to the airport, she decided to send Virgin America a tweet — a message on the microblogging service Twitter.

Read more

Spirit’s Baldanza: “We don’t force customers to pay for services they don’t want or need”

Spirit's Ben Baldanza. / Photo courtesy Spirit.
Spirit Airlines is at it again — first denying a dying war veteran a ticket refund, then announcing it would raise its fee for carrying a bag on its flight to $100. Passengers are outraged. A Facebook petition to boycott the carrier is gaining momentum.

At a time like this, I like to hand the mike over to Ben Baldanza, the airline’s CEO. I did this morning, but his handlers said he couldn’t answer my questions by phone. Here’s a transcript of our awkward email interview.

Read more