KIRKVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Bob Teachout has used Facebook for about 15 years. A month ago, he lost access after a friend messaged him for help.

“So I did as this individual, who I thought was John, and I gave him a code,” Teachout recalled. “And as soon as he got that he took control of my page. Since he changed the email, there’s no way I could do anything.”

He later learned, his friend John was hacked. Teachout created a new page and warned others. His old page is now trying to sell puppies.

“A friend of mine called me this morning asking about the puppies. He knew it wasn’t me. He said what alerted him was that they called him James. Now, that’s what his Facebook page says it’s James, but everybody calls him Jim,” Teachout explained.

Lee McKnight, a professor in Syracuse University’s iSchool, says this happens a lot.

“There were massive breaches last year, both for Facebook and Apple accounts,” McKnight explained.

So what do these hackers want? “What they mainly want is ways to scam money,” McKnight said. “It’s mainly about money.”

Teachout hasn’t lost money and his friends haven’t fallen for the puppy scam, but he did lose his friends list and photos.

It’s been very frustrating,” Teachout said.

Teachout has contacted Facebook, but hasn’t heard back. Professor McKnight said their system is automated, so persistence is key. He also advises you to be mindful about what information is available on your page and to change your password often.

Teachout has some advice of his own. “If in doubt, check it out. Be suspicious of anybody. You just don’t know,” Teachout said.

He hopes by sharing his story, it will help others.

Your Facebook page has a privacy check up to help you secure your account.

Have a story idea for us? Call or email the your stories team anytime: