Yeah, it happened yet again, but this time it took a darker turn. Monday night I tried to open Instagram to catch up and respond to messages only to get a login error, over and over again. My heart sank because deep down I had a feeling I knew why I couldn’t log in. So I immediately logged into my email and to no surprise, there it was, an unread email with the subject line, ‘Hacked Instagram Account.’ Followed were emails from Instagram alerting me of a new login (from Nuevo, CA……lol that was not me) followed by an email stating my email on file had been changed. Again, I did not do that. Hey IG, thanks for letting a complete stranger take over my account.
You know what blows my mind? That Instagram doesn’t have any contact info whatsoever. There is no way of getting in touch with anyone, so you’re left on your own.
Whoever hacked my account sent me an email to alert me of what was going on. They took over my account and blocked it. They were threatening to delete all my photos and sell my account unless I paid them a certain amount through bitcoin. They set a time limit and everything.
My anxiety? Sky high at this point.
I did everything I could possibly think of. I researched high and low, only to hit a dead end. It felt like my whole world was crashing and there wasn’t a thing I could do to stop it. Imagine, this is something I have put my heart and soul into. Countless number of hours spent on creating content. Years of my work. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either take the risk of paying the hackers with no guarantee of getting my account back or I had to start from scratch, plain and simple. And the follow up question was, do I have it in me to start all over again? From point zero. It was definitely not something I was looking forward to.
Just when I was about to give up, a friend told me about Juan Pelaez. Contacting him was the best decision I made in this situation because if it wasn’t for Juan, I would never have gotten back into my account. Juan was so easy to work with. He honestly did all the leg work and after about a day, I got the good news….
“I got your account back” – Juan
Ah, music to my ears. Such sweet, sweet words!
This was both emotionally and mentally exhausting. I am so happy it’s over!
I think Instagram needs to up their game because this seems to be happening far more than it should. Security is lacking. Maybe there should be a verification process before contact info is changed. Something. Anything. As of 2019, Instagram statistics estimate 1 billion users. One billion. You would think it be a safer platform? The help page itself is useless. If you ask me, at least have a proper communication portal for users. I have a strong feeling many others would agree that this is a huge issue. We need a way to contact Instagram regarding such incidents because as of right now, there is little to zero ways to get in touch with someone for assistance. No matter how many messages you send, you won’t get a response back. Believe me, I tried. You can write your heart out, but in my personal experience, I did not get any assistance.
Have you been a victim? What can you do? You can report it. File any complaint with the IC3, its quick and easy. IC3 is the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center.
File complaint with IC3
If you are going through a similar situation and need help getting your account back, you can talk to Juan and I bet he’ll save your account too! And if you’re reading this Juan, thank you so much!
I have also attached a link to an article from Vice about Instagram influencers and hacked accounts. Fun fact: Juan is mentioned in the article! Happy reading xx
Read this- "Hacked Instagram Influencers Rely on White-Hat Hackers to get their Accounts back"
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I understand what a horrible situation it can be and I'm here to offer the resources I found.