Blue Springs woman warns of Facebook scam stealing video calls

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:29 PM CST
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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (KCTV) - A recent Facebook scam has emerged, targeting users’ video calls to deceive their friends.

When her phone rang, Jennifer Rueschhoff was cheering about a Chiefs win from home. It was a Messenger video call from a friend.

“I told her at first I didn’t have time to answer,” Rueschhoff recounted. “And then she said, ‘But I want to see your sweet face,’ which is something my friend would say.”

She answered the call and could see her friend talking but could not hear her. The call ended and she got a written message, saying, “I can’t hear you. My phone is messing up.”

Jennifer replied that she could not hear her either.

Unbeknownst to her, the call was a manipulated recording. The friend then messaged, asking for a verification code sent to her phone, saying she would get it sorted.

Rueschhoff sent the code. Her guard was down due to the video of her friend seemingly talking to her.

About two hours later, she began receiving texts from friends. They asked if she was trying to call them. They asked if she was okay. They got requests for money along with the video call from her.

“And they said, ‘Yeah, Jennifer, this is you. This is you. It’s a video of you,’” Rueschhoff explained.

That’s when she realized that the incoming call from what she thought was her friend was step one in a two-pronged scam. The scammer had recorded her face when she answered.

“They took a 22-second video of me responding, going, ‘I can’t hear you.’ So, it was literally me saying I can’t hear you,” Rueschhoff deduced.

She looked up how to report a hacked account. She followed the steps. She could not change her password because the hacker had already linked a new email and phone number to the page. She clicked the three dots under the cover photo of the hacked account and reported it hacked that way. She wanted the page removed.

Her only option in the short term was to create a new account, add as many people as she could think of from her friends list and message all of them that she’d been hacked.

A week later, text messages from concerned friends were still coming inquiring about strange requests and phone number solicitations.

Eleven days after the hack, the report continues to show “pending review.” The fraudulent page is still up. You can still make a friend request to it.

“I feel abandoned by Meta, the corporation, and Facebook that there isn’t a simple way to report something like this,” she said. “An $800 billion company should be able to figure out how to protect the people using their platform.”

KCTV5 emailed the Facebook media relations team on Friday to find out why she cannot get the page removed but has yet to receive a response six days later.