Think you're chatting with one of Sydney Loofe's family members online? There's a fairly good chance you're not. Yes, they've been hacked — a lot — during this nightmare.
In the five days that the public has known about the missing 24-year-old, the Loofe family has seen social media help them reach thousands of people with Sydney's face, name and other information. Since People magazine picked up the story, that number may be in the millions.
But that has also opened up a hurting family to the vulnerability of social media hackers. And they have been hacked and hacked during their time of need. While they should be focusing solely on finding Sydney, they have been forced to watch their social media accounts closely for fraudulent activity.
The family wants you to be warned that if you receive a message out of the blue from one of the Loofes, it likely is not really from them. While you may be happy they are reaching out to you for help, be suspicious of the source and protect your own identity and information.
Social media may help the Loofe family bring home Sydney, but it also has dangers. That's why the Loofe family has started an official Facebook page for information and no longer is using their personal Facebook pages to communicate with the public. They want the hacking to stop.
Also, if you are sharing information on Sydney on social media, consider keeping your privacy settings tight and not opening posts to the public to protect yourself. But continue to share it with your friends, who will share with their friends and let more people know about the search.
For the most accurate information from the search, follow Finding Sydney Loofe.