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Local Olympian gets hacked

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman’s very own Olympian is well and good, but emails recently coming from her Yahoo account would have people thinking otherwise.

Sharriieffa Barksdale, who ran for the USA track and field team in the 1980s and now is the team’s event manager, learned her account had been hacked on July 28.

Her account was sending messages saying she had been robbed in Madrid, and asked her contacts for 3200 euros to help her.

“I had people from Europe texting and calling me. They thought it was true,” Barksdale said. “I got a text at like 3 a.m. I did not get any sleep.”

“You have to be a really devious mind to go to all this trouble to try and earn money when they  could get a real job,” she said.

Barksdale wants everyone to know she’s fine.

“I’m OK. I’m here in Lexington, Ky.,” Barksdale said.

Hackers seem to recognize the accounts of well-traveled residents.
Barksdale travels with the track and field team and will soon be going to South Korea.

Family, including those in Harriman, and friends across the globe mobilized  to offer a helping hand when they heard about her “robbery.”

One friend was further along than most.

“She was at Western Union getting ready to send $2,000,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale said to make matters worse, she cannot access the account because the password and security questions have been changed so these emails have continued to go out.

Yahoo hasn’t taken any steps to close it.

“It has been extremely embarrassing that Yahoo will not take this matter seriously and shut my email down,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale said the only silver lining in the frustrating situation is that she’s learned that so many people care.

“It shows you what kind of friends you have,” she said. “People have been calling all over the world trying to help me because they think I’m in distress.”