How My Instagram Got Hacked
Sharing how my Instagram account got hacked and you can lose your account in flash.
Hi everyone, today I am sharing a bit of a tragic post on How My Instagram Got Hacked and I lost my all of my 12.7 K followers in 60 seconds. To this day Instagram still to this very has not not acknowledge and has not helped me get my account back! I ended up waiting until the hackers changed the name of my original account to @hardoto3, then I was able to reclaim my trademarked name @jenron.designs back as mine, which is now private, and tiny so I have to approve you first. I have decided to keep my circle small to protect my family, friends, and followers from the unscrupulous people out there, and since I personally do not own social media I can not do that unless I keep things private, sorry.
Update- The biggest issue with my account and how it was lost, is how it got routed through Instagram in Turkey. I really think it was an internal deal with that office. No one with Instagram US contacted me about my account, so I could not not regrain any kind of status back on my account. Until Instagram acknowledges they have hackers, or people being bought, inside their own company, in the Turkey office, I will never get my account back because all reports and request go to them.
As of 8/27 my account went LIVE, but not as me! The Hackers were trying to sell my account on my actual account to my followers! Since I refused to buy it back from them, they are actually trying to sell my account on my page. After doing some serious tracking I found that the @hardonline account is actually a large gaming account, located outside of Brazil just north of Rio, and they are using a VPN to route through Turkey as a cover up. Which explains why they want Krypto and Bitcoin as the ransom payment. (However, no judgement on a VPN for smart security it is the way to go, I think most people use them these days 😉
My old page still is intact and shows all my photos, squares, reels and stories so the game is they just disabled my account until Instagram would reroute the information to them as the information of record which happens automatically after 2 weeks and changing all the email and passwords. Since the account was disabled no facial recognition or selfie video worked; so heads up all those YouTube videos that say just do a selfie video which is total BS, because the first thing hackers do is disable your account until it resets.
Here is The Backstory:
It all started with a message sent prior directly from Instagram stating I was out of compliance with a copyright issue on a video I posted over 5 years ago, December 2016. Mind you I posted this way before reels or the music was ever even a part of the IG, so a total pioneer over here, maybe I need to sue for copyright infringement on my ideas? Funny enough I still have the video because I save everything in my dropbox, so take a look at it here, it was from my Singing Nutcrackers in 2016.
Now these emails are listed as common knowledge as being phishing emails now but at the time this was the legitimate way that Instagram would contact you. I was just one of the very first attacks in a very long list of targeted bloggers. I say this since they had to have a preset gmail account ready to go in order to instantly reroute my account automatically once the hack occured, in 60 seconds. It was 1 letter different than my name, and 1 letter off of my business email address, which I could not possibly buy all 26 versions as a small business, and it went to a gmail which is the worst of offenders. This is how Instagram allowed my account to be transferred.
So here is the message I receive which was a ligament message from directly from Instagram/Meta around June 24th, the same time as the Elvis movie was released, stating the music was an infringement of copyright laws from a song owned by Sony Music Entertainment, but I could appeal the verdict and hear back in 2-3 weeks. For the time being the videos would be blocked in Australia.
(Yes it was not a DM it was an actual notification from Instagram with a violation letter, truly a legitimate thing similar to the ones you get on Youtube, and yes I got one for my Game of Thrones dinner party music too, which was released actually released since I had no intention of making money on from it and the video was only for entertainment purposes only; so it happens and no issues moving forward). I filled out the submit dispute form via the Instagram Help Center as directed above and waited to hear back the same way I had done with Youtube. Now, fast forward to July 31 when an return email seen below shows up:
As you can see it still looks pretty legit, especially if you are expecting to hear back from a previous inquiry initiated to you originally by Instagram. Again, note this came to my Business email addressed from the Instagram Appeals Office, so you think okay 4 weeks later here is that same hinky appeal form again I already filed out once because it looks the same. The one issue is, if you look closely, it shows that it is from Facebook, not Meta. Here is how it went down, you click the link which directs you to another Instagram look alike site, and it looks just like Instagram, no expense spared. Then asks you to confirm your username and phone number, the next screen asks you to verify the email address which is the one they used and kicks you out to a login screen for security purposes. Now they have your username, phone number, and password. Since they already had my email and now systematically start to log you out of all of your devices by changing all of your data. Now you start getting these emails:
You now spend the next few hours trying to get your account back, but once they have your phone number, password and email it is all over. The only thing I did differently is I had a funny feeling about the whole thing, so while I was still logged in to Instagram, I screenshot everything and reported in the Instagram Help Center quickly and then tried to change my password before the hackers did. Which did prompt a notification that my email and phone had been changed, and I should have been able to override this from this notification, however Meta now just directs you to the “Have you been Hacked” page in setting which is actually no help at all. So this back is no help at all anymore, be warned.
Currently, I am locked out of my Instagram account, which I hear is not a common thing, considering I have a business account, with 2 factor authentication (which does nothing) ; or the hackers have just disabled it from their end (which is what I now believe has happened). It was also secured separately from my Facebook and has a whole separate set of log in’s which I highly recommend; never put all your eggs in one basket, and do not link them, always use completely different logins and passwords, I learned that at a bloggers conference. While the accounts are semi-linked as in I can drop a story from my Instagram, I retained all control over my personal Facebook which has my company listed only as a “Page”, verses my Instagram which is an licensed Business Account you know EIN#, Business License, Trademark, the whole 9, so two completely separate entities. This was my own version of a 2 factor authentication if you will since the other clearly means nothing. So, the likelihood of this random Nigerian prince or Russian Mafia proving actually they are me is going to be very hard for them, good luck bringing that back online they are just waiting for you now.
However, here is the Whatsapp notification I received from the hackers stating they have my account and will give it back if I pay a certain amount. (Yes, I sent this to Instagram but still no help just here is the page to report a hacking) Which is sad because we all know they have my account information in their data recovery site and can easily take control of our screens, if they wanted too, but since it is a “unmanned site” (yeah right) and I do not “pay the big bucks” to them in anyway I will probably never see any help at all. This is also true for private citizens as well, with all your kids photos and videos of yourself. You might as well prepare yourself to be sold off, and those photos to be used for everything under the sun, which is why a having a public page of any kind is a bad idea in general, and private is not any better. There is already an entire Tik Tok movement in this direction about those kind of videos and the exploitation, see Wren Eleanor if you are not aware yet. They social media giants and data mining all your stuff and going to sell it back to you at price, just wait for it.
Which is why it is good that my business page also has a trademark and is DMCA copyright backed since all of my photos have copyrights whether they are watermarked or meta-encrypted, because of this I filed a complaint with the Federal Copyright Office. Since I am not taking them with a basic Iphone, I am using a 35mm like the pros do, so if programmed properly all of the photos have that information placed on to the files the minute the photo is snapped. Then when you download into other software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Facebook or Instagram they can add the rest of the Metadata to the file, but the original capture log is always there versus a digital phone. See this was all that data encryption they spoke of during the Johnny Depp Amber Heard trials and why nothing on a cell phone can or will ever hold up in court; coroners still use 35mm so do Forensic investigators, so read the room.
Which is why I was even answering the copyright emails to begin with and trying to figure out where my appeal was, I would have happily removed the video however it seems dumb considering Instagram now offers music and does reels now. Which is what my appeal was based upon, I basically created a reel before they existed, as a creator, which is what I do in all aspects of life it seems wrong to not allow my time date stamped version of a reel not to live on my page, considering they could have easily poached the idea from me or countless other people doing the same thing. Let’s face it no one owns anything, intellectual property at this point is all a bunch of BS because the bigger companies with money will just come in say they found it first after they steal the little guys idea, LOL! Anyways, I have always been taught never put all your eggs in one basket, you do not own that content on any of the social media sites and may never be able to get back any of it if you lose it, which is why your email list and blog is really all that matters in these types of situations. The social media world is just too sketchy and can all be lost at a moment’s notice and none of the property out there actually belongs to you EVER!
That being said, while I am hoping to get back my Instagram account even if it is just to close it down on my own terms, so my Instagram followers don’t end up being sold to the highest bidder and wake up one day wondering how on earth they ended up following a Bong salesman or Fake Timeshare Properties on the Moon. Since that is how most of the big accounts get their huge start up numbers, yes they buy them, true story. I actually tried really hard to earn mine which is what makes this kind of bittersweet. I met a lot of great gals via the contests or social groups sharing your squares all the things you do to get seen in your niche, but now the market is so saturated, most of the really big one accounts are buy ins these days or stolen accounts like mine, and they are stealing more and more every day, I have lost tons of friends to this. Honestly maybe I should have just sold mine? LOL 😂 Then I would have made the money for it!Honestly, I do feel like this is an opportunity, since I was not really feeling the “new” Social Media circuit lately, inspiration has left me, and it all just seems like all the videos and reels are of the same old same old. When a door closes, and a window opens, and it is time for reinvention which reveals itself and you must find a way to pull yourself out of all of that boring white noise and become different again. I will absolutely be doing this since this opportunity was given to me.I recently received this email back clearly in Turkish since the hackers are in Turkey, it was basically asking:
Thanks for your response. To confirm that you are the owner of this account, you must reply to this email with a photo of you holding your government-issued photo ID. Please make sure that the photo you submit has these features: – It should include both your hands holding your ID and your entire face – It should show your face clearly in both the photo and the ID – It should be bright and not too small, dark or blurry – It should be attached to your reply as a JPEG file After we have a clear image of you and your identity and have reviewed them, we will permanently delete the identity documents you have sent us from our servers. Thank you in advance for your understanding of this security policy. For more information about the types of IDs we accept, please visit the Help Center: https://help.instagram.com/271237319690904/?ref=crThank you
I will say I sent this back on August 28 and still have not heard anything back from Facebook or Instagram and they only hold your ID for 30 days so I am sure this is yet another dead end. So I reported the entire institution of META and the hackers to the FTC and FBI on identity theft at this point, because now they have my state issued ID as well.
I certainly hope that this does not happen to you, however it seems to be the “new new” with hackers and thieves everywhere. It seems like everywhere I look I keep uncovering more and more unsavory things and people cheating others just because they can. It feels like there is just a network of criminals located in every building which is point of contact to float certain people by right now. Like call “so-in so” they work at “blank” they can get you that SS# or CC# you need and no one will ever know. Maybe they can cancel that account, or screw up that order, whatever it is you need because there is no accountability right now. Am I the only one that notices this or am I just the only one willing to say something?
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I am so sorry to hear this! I’m with you, the reels don’t feel “new” anymore. Its thousands of people doing the same audio/acting for their set of followers. Praying you’ll be better off without it!
This is so unfair and frustrating! I’ve gotten messages like this before too. I hope everything works out ok for you!
Thank You, I think a new perspective is what I need, the market is really very bogged down right now with too much of the same, it is a lot white noise and hard to sort through a basic decorator which have great taste or a actual interior designers with degrees skills and knowledge in codes and practical experience. Clearly I am not a marketing major which is what most them are which is why I was hacked LOL!
I know I keep hearing that a lot, and I too thought was smarter than the hackers and would see the pitfalls and be immune to things like this, after all my blogger converferrences, and keeping up with the trends and listening to all the chat rooms and DM’s of other bloggers. Sure I can say I guess I am just dumb, but what my message is I really thought I had all the protocols in place and that I was being safe, so safe that I actually sent a “help I have been hacked message” to Instagram while I still had control of my account and I still lost my account it. It went out prior to the message that they changed my password, phone number or email. I also had changed my password prior to those things happening as well. This was a battle that happened in seconds and I was on top of it and still lost, I knew I was being hacked and watched it happen.
Oh no! That is awful so sorry it has happened to you. It’s very frustrating
Thank you for your continued support and the kind words, it is frustrating for sure. We are all just trying to put more good into the world and hackers keep stealing everything to make a quick buck off our hard work. Large companies sell off our emails to these blackmarket lists to support their “free apps” but won’t help a Business Account if they are not a Top dollar payer on the list or bring in enough income for them sipher off. It is all a racket in the grand scheme so I choose to own my own content and quit working for hard for those that do not support me.
This is awful I am so sorry about your Instagram account, hackers are just awful. If they put their minds to something useful imagine what they could do.
Wow! This blows my mind and the lack of help you have received is even worse. I am so sorry about your experience it makes me hate social media even more.
I hate that this happened to you, I loved your Instagram feed and miss seeing you over there. I hope Meta helps you out soon, but sadly I think they are more self serving.
The fastest way to get it back would be to deal with those jerks I guess, but who wants to do that? Then they probably would not even make good on the deal anyways, just take the money and run like the crock they are. it is awful.
I have heard the days of social media like Instagram and TikTok all numbered, and those Insta-bloggers will all be hurting then, they have nothing but those numbers which will all disappear and no contacts. Play the long game with your website, you are right you own it, and it is yours not theirs.
Girl this is absolutely heartbreaking for you after you worked so hard to build you following, I know you were a real organic HD blogger not a buy in one like so many out there. The numbers never lied Karma will get them all!
It is truly a disserve that Meta is doing to you, I am truly disappointed in there company as whole these days and the majority of the large social media providers. They are just the devil we know at this point. -xoxo
Wow! Instagram should be ashamed of the lack of taking care of a small business! This is such an eye opening article and makes me more aware of the lack of safeguards they tout which clearly do not work!
I now realized people do not care about integrity or personality no more than spreading false information, I have fallen victim countless times too before I became smart too.