Wednesday, April 13, 2022

my instagram account was hacked


I’m sending this to further broadcast the message that on April 2, 2022 my Instagram account was hacked. 

How it started

Someone I’m connected to on social media, who I’d written about years ago for a national magazine, obviously had their account hacked. I received a DM from the alleged friend on Instagram asking if I could help them get in the process to have their account verified (that little blue check mark). “Sure, how can I help?” In a momentary distracted lapse of judgment, I provided a requested screenshot which included my birthday, mobile phone number, and email address. I should’ve known better. Within minutes, I was locked out of my account, and soon the hacker began posting photos of mansions and cars – all encouraging others to invest in Bitcoin. Many friends could tell this couldn’t be me but some followers pursued!

How it’s going

At the time of the hack, my account had about 4500 followers and judging by the steady stream of texts, emails, and DMs received since 4/2, the hacker is on the loose with the same “can you please help me get my account verified” scam. Despite my postings of warnings and alerts to social media, friends and followers are falling for it and being hassled. Meanwhile, I try daily to get back into the account, failing miserably each time. At least seven video selfies have been denied. I even got back into the account twice and changed all of the contact information (phone number from Nigeria!) but when I went to post, I was asked to provide my new password (which I did), and was immediately booted out once again. My latest steps: submit a requested photo of myself holding a paper with a code written on it. Nope. Install Google Authenticator and get a set of codes to use as back-up. Nope.

I am extremely frustrated not only about the situation but about social media and how much it matters to all of us. There’s been good and there’s been harm and damage, and obviously even the small clubhouses in which we feel ownership, are not ours.

As of this posting, if you receive a message from "me" at – please ignore or report. I have a new account at elyse.elizabeth.major and will be playing in that clubhouse until further notice.

Be well + alert, tinkerers!