Hackers are going after you through social media

Hackers are targeting you in a new way, luring you in through social media.

There is a way you can stop them and protect yourself.

Experts call it 'social engineering'. Online criminals are using their people skills to hack people instead of computers or mobile devices.

"A lot of these scams are based on the idea that you want to trust people, that you want to believe whatever they're sending you is real and so you'll click on it," says Shannon McMurtrey.

The cyber crime expert and Drury professor says it's best not to trust anyone or anything online.

"You used to try to get people to click on an email. Now you try to get them to click on Facebook Messenger," he explains.

I almost fell for the scam. Hackers disguised themselves as my mother. I received a strange message with poor spelling and a link to a video.

This is they way hackers are trying to destroy your device. They could also steal your identity and financial information.

"You didn't click on it because you knew that doesn't sound right for my mom. Unfortunately some people will just click on play and now their account's compromised," says McMurtrey.

He says hackers also have other motives for coming after us.

"There's people who are maybe part of organized crime and maybe financial gain is what they're interested in. There's people that we call 'hacktivists', says McMurtrey. They have a cause they are trying to advance maybe a political agenda. "Then there's state sponsored hackers that are working for nation states," he says. "They have a government that's funding they're activity. They're trying to gather information, get access, sometimes for finances but sometimes for just for information."

Stopping them may be difficult but not impossible.

"There's no end to the creativity. Unfortunately every time a new social media platform comes out or a new device then there's new ways to hack, new ways to compromise information," he says. "It's kind of a cat and mouse game. This fight can be won but we have to educate ourselves. We have to become more aware of how they attack, what they're after and what we can do to stop it."

If you have been hacked through Facebook Messenger, change your password immediately.

Also, run an anti-virus scan on your device.

Facebook has some options for security updates on their help center page.