A hacker locked you out of your Facebook. How can you get your account back?


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SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine if a hacker locked you out of your Facebook account and the social media company would not help you get your access back. It is a scenario playing out for many Facebook users who tell the KSL Investigators they are frustrated by the social media giant's lack of customer support and service.

Chris Loizos was locked out of his account after a hacker got in. Because the hacker changed the email address tied to his profile, Loizos has no way to reset the password and get back in. And try as he might, he cannot connect with an actual human being at Facebook to help him get back in.

"I found that Facebook has virtually no mechanism to help people in that situation whatsoever," Loizos said.

Jackie Cooley, of St. George, has had the same experience.

"They started scamming my friends — all my friends," she explained. "I tried everything I could think of to get my Facebook back."

Add Loizos and Cooley to the chorus of people who have contacted KSL complaining that Facebook's customer service is severely lacking. We have reported on individual users, as well as Utah businesses who rely on Facebook to reach out to their customers.

"Someone has stolen and impersonated Gardner Village's account," Marcia Johns, Gardner Village's marketing director told us. "And they said they can't help you."

For its part, Facebook has gone to work when the KSL Investigators have contacted their public relations people to try to get people back into their accounts or cloned accounts shut down. But surely there is a better way to get issues resolved than contacting a TV station, right?

Facebook did not comment directly for this story, but a spokesperson pointed to a handful of links that offer customer support — specifically, this one.

One thing some people locked out of their accounts try to do is to reset their password – but that will not work because the reset goes to the bad guy who has taken over the account. By reporting your hacked account directly to Facebook, there are steps a user can take to identify himself or herself to Facebook to try to regain access to their profile.

Facebook's Help Center will also let you confirm your identity with Facebook and show you how to get back into your account.

The Help Center can also show you steps you can take if you have mistakenly shared your account information with a phishing website designed by identity thieves to look like Facebook. It also explains how users can report abusive or suspicious posts, links or videos.

Still, the frustration for Chris Loizos and Jackie Cooley has not dissipated.

"I hope that the public is made aware that if they get hacked, Facebook is not going to help them," Loizos said.

After our calls to Facebook, the social media giant is now trying to help both get back into their accounts. And as we reported earlier this month, that bogus page pretending to be Gardner Village was shut down after we reached out.

However, one thing Facebook did not offer to us is a customer service line for people to call to get help for their accounts or other issues. Facebook appears to not take calls for customer support.

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Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.

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