A young man going off to college opened a Facebook account recently so he could contact friends who might be attending the same college.
Then over the weekend, someone hacked his account and posted threats to several Janesville schools, both Janesville hospitals, the Rock County Sheriff’s Office and recently retired congressman Paul Ryan, Janesville police said.
Police believe the threats are bogus.
“We have found nothing that leads us to believe that anybody’s in danger,” Lt. Charles Aagaard of the police department said.
Nevertheless, police are investigating.
The initial investigation led to an internet-provider address in Iowa but no indicators of why this particular man’s Facebook account was hacked, Aagaard said.
The hack victim, whose initials are J.C. and who lives in Rock County but not Janesville, also had his name, address and phone number posted with the threat, police reported.
The threats specified blowing up schools and the sheriff’s office, and at one point used the word “assassinate,” which was misspelled, Aagaard said.
Only one threat came with a specified day it would be carried out, Wednesday, said Aagaard, who declined to reveal what that target was because he didn’t want to cause panic over a bogus threat.
One of the threat targets listed by the hacker was Craig High School, and the school’s liaison officer was involved in the investigation, Aagaard said.
The man whose Facebook account was hacked was surprised and cooperative and did not act suspiciously, Aagaard said. He hadn’t used the account very much.
The victim did receive a voicemail message from Facebook on Saturday asking him about his account, but he didn’t see it immediately, Aagaard said.
If he had seen the message and checked, he might have found out someone had tried to change his password, Aagaard said.