500 million Facebook user phone numbers sold for $20 each

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you use Facebook, your phone number and user ID information may be available to anyone willing to pay for it.

The trouble started in 2019 when a security flaw allowed hackers to grab Facebook ID information and phone numbers of users who linked them to their account. Now, we are learning that the information is reportedly for sale.

Facebook knows all about the problem. The company even sent out a fix to make sure it does not happen again.

Internet security experts tell us the damage is done.

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According to a report from Motherboard, researchers recently learned information from more than 500 million users that was previously hacked by cyber criminals can now be bought on the web for $20 a pop. $5,000 can buy 10,000 numbers.

It is being reported by Motherboard that the bot has been running since Jan. 12.

IT experts say, at this point, it's too late to get that information back. However, this is a perfect time to take a look at the information you have entered in any app on your phone. Make sure you are OK with private companies having access to that information.

"It is always good to go back to the sources (where) you have put some of this information, and make sure it is information you still want them to have," said University of Houston Chief Information Security Officer Mary Dickerson.

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We asked Facebook about the bot selling information. Company representatives said they tested it and found the information from users who created profiles after 2019 is not available.

"This is old data," a company representative said. "We found and fixed the issue in August 2019."

The company has removed the ability to find others using phone numbers and Facebook ID information.

However, that leaves everyone who signed up prior to 2019 potentially vulnerable.

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