(Update: Adding video, comments by hacking victim)
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- Wendy Swales of Redmond says she has used Facebook for nearly 15 years, but last month, all of that changed. Swales was sent a direct message from what appeared to be Facebook, telling her to update her app. But what she didn't know was: It was a fake account from a hacker.
"I thought I got some message from Facebook, saying my Facebook page was so old that they needed to do some updating on it. And it looked legit. It looked like Facebook was doing it." she said Monday. "They basically had my page, and I had to pay $140 to get it back immediately."
Now, she's warning others about this common Facebook scam, to hopefully save others from losing their accounts, as she did.
"It's a horrific, sad, really difficult emotional situation right now." she said.
The hackers, she believes, changed all her personal information on the account, making it difficult for Facebook to send her a new password.
"The only email that's listed is now the hacker's email. So what happens is, I can't get an email, because it goes to the hackers. They destroyed my phone number, so I can't get a message on my phone to change the password." Swales said.
She says the hackers also messaged her, demanding money -- and threatening to have her arrested. Even after paying the hackers to release her account, she still has not seen it.
"You believe that they're from Facebook, or that they're this hacking program that if you pay $20 first, they'll work on it with some special code, then another $20 for their services, and they'll definitely hand over your email and passcode to get into your account." Swales said.
According to Facebook's website, users should only click or accept messages from those you know -- and never share passwords or personal information
Swales has reached out to Meta with no response so far.
"Facebook is a multibillion-dollar company, and it's not doing what they say they will do in their policies to protect us and help us." Swales said.