Facebook hackers steal thousands from Suffolk dog training business

Zoe Willingham is warning others about the pitfalls of Facebook after hackers stole money from her dog business

Zoe Willingham is warning others about the pitfalls of Facebook after hackers stole money from her dog business - Credit: ZOE WILLINGHAM/BEST BEHAVIOUR DOG TRAINING

The 'devastated' owner of a Suffolk dog training business was left unable to work for a short period after hackers broke into her social media account and stole thousands of pounds. 

Zoe Willingham, who runs Best Behaviour Dog Training, is warning others about the pitfalls of Facebook after hackers were able to access her profile and use her personal details to take money from her bank account. 

The damage was done in ‘mere minutes’ on Monday when her account was compromised and she was thrown out, despite using two factor authentication, which requires two pieces of ID to be provided before access is granted. 

She also found that she was unable to change her password to gain entry. 

The result has been that she has been unable to work for a short period because she has lost money that was going to pay for her business costs, including staff and suppliers. 

She said: "This is hugely stressful and devastating to my business. I can’t contact clients, or professional bodies I’m part of and I’ve set up a new account but people ignore this as they think it’s a fake.

"It’s taken hours for me to contact people to explain, meaning I’m not able to work. I’ve not been able to pay my staff or bills as I have no money in any of my accounts. I have 78 animals to feed and vet bills to pay."

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Her bank is now going to rectify the losses and the disruption caused, but she was particularly scathing of technology firm Meta, which owns Facebook, because of the difficulties she found in being able to contact the company. 

She wasn’t able to contact anyone to report the incident at the time. 

Her profile has also been closed meaning she cannot access the personal memories she had stored on the page, including photos of her brother, who died last year.

She said there was a message on her old account saying she had 'breached community guidelines' and her profile would be deleted within 30 days.  

She cannot advertise on her new account and fears she will never be able to recover the treasured photos of her family that were stored on the old page. 

“Facebook says I have got 30 days to appeal to them and I have got about 25 days left now, but I can’t find a single way to contact Facebook to tell them that this account was not me, it was the hackers.” 

The timing close to the forthcoming first anniversary of her brother's death was particularly distressing, she said.

“I will lose all the personal memories of my family and all the things that I did with my brother. I will never get back the memories of my brother on there,” Mrs Willingham added. 

Nobody from Meta was available for comment.