(KDVR) — Social media is a playground for scam artists and hackers looking to trick unsuspecting visitors into making donations under false pretenses.

Traci, who is not using her last name, told FOX31 that hackers took over her Facebook account to post that she was homeless, which is not true. The scammers were asking for donations in her name.

“I started getting phone calls from family and relatives saying, ‘What’s going on? You’re homeless?'” she said.

The scammer also posted fake puppy sale ads to receive payments from visitors and then demanded $1,000 from Traci to release her account.

“I was embarrassed and angry,” Traci said.

Hackers also took over Jessica Palmosina’s Facebook page, posting fake puppy sales ads. She is now receiving violent threats on her voicemail, and a stranger even visited her mother’s home demanding a puppy or a refund.

The family shared one voicemail with the Problem Solvers that said, “I will grab my shotgun and a handgun. Yes, this is a person you owe a dog to, I will see you shortly.”

“I’m afraid that people know where my parents live, afraid for my family,” Palmosina said. Palmosina has filed a police report and reported the scam to authorities.

How to protect your Facebook from hackers

Internet security expert Donald McLaughlin of CP Cyber told the Problem Solvers that this is one of the most common scams hitting social media right now.

“They take that account hostage, say they want so many Bitcoin or whatever to give your account access back,” McLaughlin said.

He warned that no one should ever give money to regain control of a compromised account.

“We do not recommend any of that, because you’re not guaranteed to get that account back,” McLaughlin said.

To protect your account, do not use passwords used for other accounts, regularly monitor your social media pages and report scams immediately.