As of Saturday, September 10, 2016
The personal Facebook page of Carmen Toll, executive director of The Dalles Art Center, was hacked between Wednesday night and Thursday morning by someone who “friended” her contacts and then asked for donations to a grant program.
“We don’t think anyone was scammed but, if they were, they need to contact the police and file a report,” said Lettie Young, assistant director of the center.
She said, for the protection of clients, Toll’s personal page has been temporarily deactivated and she has been removed as an administrator for the art center’s page.
“The hacker reached out to people heavily involved in the arts community and we really don’t want this to affect their relationship with the center,” said Young.
She knew something was up when she arrived at work Thursday morning and fielded several phone messages from Toll’s contacts from Facebook, warning her that something was amiss.
These people, and an unknown number of others, had confirmed a “friend” request from Toll, even though she was already one of their contacts.
“Once people accepted the ‘friend’ request, the hacker messaged them and carried on a sort of intimate conversation that always ended with a request for money,” she said. “It seemed real, but it wasn’t.”
Facebook officials were alerted and advised Toll to change her password and update her privacy settings, which she did. Young said the same protocols taken on the art center’s page, so she believes there will be no further problems.
“Other than that, we can’t do much else,” she said. “And we can’t go after whoever did this without more information, so we are just going to wait and see. Hopefully, the hacker has been blocked and they won’t be able to get back in.”
If anyone receives a “friend” request or a message from Toll, they are asked by her and Young to alert the center at 541-296-4769.
People who are messaged by the hacker about money are requested to call The Dalles Police Department at 541-296-2613.