Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Facebook hacker poses as retired Clark County official, attempts to sway sheriff | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – According to his Facebook posts cryptocurrency has recently changed Jim Bichsel’s life by clearing his debts, paying for a new car, and investing in his family’s future but there’s just one problem, he hasn’t posted on his account for months.

On Mar. 16, the retired Clark County Coroner senior forensic technician finished his breakfast and started to read through his emails.

“There were 13 emails from Facebook within a 28-minute timeframe,” Bichsel said. “My email was removed from my Facebook account and replaced with somebody else’s, bottom line is I got hacked.”

Jim Bichsel thought a strong password was enough to protect his account, and now there was a new problem a hacker was trying to sell his 882 Facebook friends on cryptocurrency. (KLAS)

Bichsel thought a strong password was enough to protect his account, and now there was a new problem—the hacker was trying to sell his 882 Facebook friends on cryptocurrency.

“I’ve got people from high school and colleagues that I worked with in the past,” he said. “I’ve even got a lot of friends that are here in local law enforcement, all the way up to the sheriff.”

The hacker was posting testimonials on cryptocurrency financial opportunities with photos and attachments, attempting to sway Bichsel’s friends to invest.

Bichsel’s wife posted on his page, alerting users he had been hacked and an impersonator was running the account.

The hacker was posting testimonials on cryptocurrency financial opportunities with photos and attachments, attempting to sway Bichsel’s friends to invest. (KLAS)

“Within a day the hacker went and deleted her posts,” he said. “Blocked her so she could never post again.”

Friends made multiple attempts to warn other users to not invest in the scams being posted under Bichsel’s name and face, but the hacker continued to delete and block them.

Not giving up

Bichsel made repeated attempts to notify Facebook support teams of the hack and ask for access back into his account, but all attempts were unsuccessful.

“I have found that Facebook, unfortunately, has been no help at all,” he said. “All my emails are falling on deaf ears.”

After attempting to resolve the situation through Facebook Bichsel paid Hacked.com, an online remote service for users who have been hacked, for assistance.

“They gave me some advice and told me to contact the attorney general’s office,” Bichsel said.

Bichsel immediately received a response from the office of Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and soon after his Facebook account was taken down, but the hacker falsely verified his identity and relaunched the account.

“Now it’s fired back up,” he said. “He’s back at it again.”

After a conversation with his wife Bichsel discussed whether he should get on a flight to California and talk to a person at Facebook headquarters.

“All I need is to talk to somebody for two minutes,” he said.

Since contacting the Nevada Attorney General, Bichsel’s friends and family have been privately messaged by the hacker trying to scam them.

“He’s up to no good,” Bichsel said. “I’m concerned that somebody could fall for it and become a victim as well.”

Tagging the sheriff

An additional concern is Bichsel is Facebook friends with Sheriff Kevin McMahill and might be reached out to by the hacker who is impersonating the retired Clark County Coroner employee.

8 News Now asked McMahill during a community event this week if he had seen the cryptocurrency Facebook posts from the impersonator.

“I have seen his posts on Facebook,” McMahill said. “It’s pretty convincing.”

The hacker was posting testimonials on cryptocurrency financial opportunities with photos and attachments, attempting to sway Bichsel’s friends to invest. (KLAS)

McMahill asked about the spelling of Bichsel’s name and said he had recently seen Facebook posts from Bichsel, but after hearing the posts were fake McMahill asked if Bichsel had filed a police report.

Bichsel responded to 8 News Now, following an interview, and said he now plans to file a police report.

8 News Now asked McMahill during a community event this week if he had seen the cryptocurrency Facebook posts from the impersonator. “I have seen his posts on Facebook,” McMahill said. “It’s pretty convincing.” (KLAS)

The concern of damage this might cause Bichsel’s friends is paired with the loss of family photos from his now deceased mother who tagged him on several posts, possibly lost forever.

“It’s like a scrapbook of my life,” he said.

The LVMPD Cyber Investigative Group (CIG) provided tips to 8 News Now for residents to better safeguard their social media and email accounts.

LVMPD CIG cyber safety tips and methods to secure accounts

  • Enable two-factor authentication on all email, social media, and financial accounts. 
  • Never re-use the same password twice; utilize unique passwords for every account. 
  • If you are the victim of a cybercrime involving a large financial transaction, time is of the essence. File a complaint at IC3.gov for the best chance of recovering stolen funds.
  • It is important that residents do not trust emails or phone calls without verifying who they are communicating with. Financial institutions and law enforcement agencies will not make unsolicited requests for payment or personal identifying information. If you are contacted in this manner, please do not click links within the email or provide personal identifying information before calling the organization at a verified phone number or utilizing an official website.

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