Hacked on Instagram: What you Need to do to Get Your Account Back

I have had a nightmare week on Instagram.

If you follow me here, chances are you follow me on Instagram channel. I’ve always been transparent that Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I love sharing photos of our travels on my account, pics of my kids and promoting my favourite products on my channel.

I have always prided myself on being genuine and honest.

Needless to say, I was shocked when on Monday April 4th, I was hacked on Instagram.

What Happened

I am a pretty trusting person. I have made so many great connections on Instagram. When I received a DM on Monday afternoon from a friend, I thought nothing of it. It wasn’t abnormal. It was friendly. It wasn’t suspicious.

My friend asked me to send a screenshot of a link I would be receiving by text. He told me he was in the process of getting verified on Instagram. I thought nothing of it and wanted to help him. When the text came in, I took a screenshot and sent it to him.

.Instagram Link Hack

Minutes later, I lost all control of my account. I was hacked.

I panicked, tried to log on on multiple devices but had no luck. I immediately changed my Facebook password and started to advise friends and started warning people.

The nightmare began. Within minutes, the hacker changed my username, email address and phone number. 

I received an email from Instagram saying that my email had changed on the account. It listed the new email address and had a link on how I could secure my account. This did nothing. It was a page of information on how to secure your account. It did not help, as my account was already hacked.

Shop Endy

What it Looked Like

Once the hacker took over my account, he started posting crypto currency posts on my feed and in my stories.


.Instagram Hack alert

Throughout the week I was getting texts and messages from friends checking if I had asked them to send them a screenshot.

Basically, the hacker was pretending to be me and was asking my friends, family and followers to send them screenshots. There were all kinds of scenarios. Some asking for a vote, some asking for help being verified but always asking to send them a screenshot.

.Instagram Screenshot Hack

.Screenshot hack Instagram

The screenshot being asked was a link to get into their Instagram account. Once the hacker got this, he would change the password to the account and have access to the account.

How Did I Get My Account Back

Getting access to my account again took some major determination. It was grueling, but I was not going to give up. I had 10 years of photos on this account, I had a great fan base, my Instagram account is where I express myself, share my thoughts, share my memories and work with incredible brands.

At first I contacted a friend that I knew had been hacked. He sent me a video to show me how to go through the process of sending a video selfie to Instagram.

.

On the first afternoon, I sent Instagram 9 video selfies. I was panicking. I needed to get this resolved quickly.

During the course of sending these selfie videos, ONE video was confirmed. I anxiously went onto my computer and started the recovery process. When you receive the confirmed email, Instagram gives you a 8 digit number to use to recover your account. In a panic, I did not follow the instructions and asked them to send me a pin. This pin was texted to the hacker.

Once the hacker got notice that I was frantically trying to recover my account, he changed the password again and made things more difficult for me.

I tried to send two more selfie videos that night but they were not accepted.

The next morning, I did not even have the option to send a selfie video. The hacker had changed my username, phone number and password. I then had help to contact Facebook. Since I have an Instagram Business account, I was able to speak to a person at Meta who opened a file for me and got me connected with Meta Concierge Support.

After explaining my situation (backed with screenshots of proof) I was told that they could help me if I did the following:

  • > Send a photo of a valid Government ID
  • > A notarized letter with all my account information
  • > Explanation for the request
  • > Acceptable business documents
  • > A typed declaration

I did all of this. Sent in the information and was told my case would be expedited. My next message from them was to tell me that I had to go through the video selfie process again.

Oddly enough, after sending this information, I was able to access the “forgot password” option and started sending video selfies again. (My husband thinks Instagram did this for me, I have my doubts).

This went on for 6 full days. I would send video selfies and they were denied, again and again. I believe I sent 21 video selfies in the end.

Finally, at 9:39pm on April 10th (7 days after being hacked) I received confirmation that my video was accepted.

.Instagram Account Hack

This time I did the recovery process on my phone. It was nerve racking but it worked. I was able to change my password and change my phone number. I am currently still waiting to change my username back to my real account name.

What you Need to Do

I highly recommend you:

  • > Secure your Instagram account with Two-Factor authentication
  • > Do NOT ever send anyone a link (even if they are your friends or family)
  • > Have some photos of your face on your Instagram account (this is how they compare the video selfie to prove that you are who you say you are)
  • > Print out and save your Instagram backup codes somewhere safe

If you’ve been hacked:

  • > Try to recover your account immediately (see YouTube video above)
  • > Alert your friends, family, fan base that you’ve been hacked
  • > Keep submitting video selfies, don’t lose hope

Give Instagram Feedback

Instagram Hack warning

I am very disappointed in how Instagram dealt with this situation. I know I am just one of many people this has happened to. I was in constant contact with them while this was happening. I was actively telling them that someone was using my account to hack others on their platform.

I would have thought they would have wanted to stop this person immediately but I now realize I am just one small fish in the sea.

Want to give Instagram feedback about how they secure their accounts? You can fill in this form to give them feedback and suggestions on how they can improve.

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323?ref=u2u

Tell me, have you been hacked on Instagram? How long did it take to recover your account?

 

30 Comments

  1. My Instagram has been hacked after I reply to a message from a friend.
    Put stories on my page straight away advertising crypto and how to make money with a phone number and bank account.
    Done everything but didn’t help
    Thanks for your help

  2. My account got hacked today. I have almost 80K followers on my account and I can’t do a selfie because my account is all writing. I’m a calligrapher. I guess “m just screwed more than anyone else.

    1. Oh no…. I hope you get your account back. When you do, be sure to post a photo of you in your feed, perhaps holding up one of your calligraphy projects.

  3. I got hack but instagram got me the account back after the video selfie but later, even after i setup new sep two authentication by myself. They still can hack me. I have done it like three times. I dont know how they still can hack me. I changed password, setup the codes and everything. And i got hack through the screenshot link too. How to stop it??

    1. Oh no! I would keep updating/changing your password. I’m not even sure if this would help but I’d hope it would!

      1. I was, I explain in the post how I got my account back. In the end I had to keep sending video selfies until they accepted it.

    2. Hi Valeria! Were you able to fix this issue? It happened to me and even though I took all the steps, they keep getting back to my account too 😔

  4. Mine was hacked Friday and I can’t get it back. Instagram has denied about 20 selfie videos now. I have a better chance of trying to pay off my hacker at this point. I’m so mad at how awful IG is.

    1. I think I ended up sending 50 video selfies. It was so so frustrating. I recommend you keep trying. I know you will get your account back.

  5. This just happened to me today! Exactly the same scenario. A friend messaged and asked me to vote for her. I wasn’t going to at first, as it felt off, but she was so kind when I needed kindness a few years back, so I went against my better judgment and followed her steps- took a screenshot and messaged her. 30 minutes later I was locked out. It’s super frustrating. And I feel bad for my clients who are women who are dealing with abusive partners. Thank you for this post. I’ll start trying tomorrow and hope not too much damage has been done.

    1. I’m so sorry it happened to you too. I feel so stupid that I fell for it. I really hope you get your account back quickly. Good luck!

  6. Hi
    Victoria spa business local in view Royal
    Got hacked last Monday same day at 11 am I will never forget that day .
    Got hacked same time taking a Covid test . Tested positive all week had no energy to fight this I m so angry with Instagram . Tried all tricks.
    I feel so hopeless right now lost all my reels pictures.
    Your blog is comforting I m not the only one you described what I went through to the T .

    1. Keep sending those video selfies… you will get through eventually. Its a lot of work but worth the effort. Good luck!

    2. I lost mine back in November. Never got it back. Was never asked for a video selfie. It was a business account, but could never speak to anyone at meta.

      1. Sorry this happened…Yes, they are impossible to get a hold of. It’s so frustrating. Do you have photos of yourself on the account? If so, look at the YouTube video I have linked, it will explain on how to get to the video selfie option.

  7. I cannot thank you enough for writing this all out for us – if any of us go through this – we will have you to thank for all the help to recover it.

  8. I was one of the people whom the hackers tried to message from your account. I’ll admit I was a bit suspicious from the beginning as the request came very out of the blue. I actually looked up how to verify an Instagram account and there was no mention of a screenshot link or messaging friends. The biggest red flag was the bad grammar in the messages. I know you’re a good writer so I went back and read each message carefully and they did not sound like you. 🤔

    This all sounds awful. I’m so glad you resolved it. Thanks for sharing the tips

    1. Yes, ma’am. My account was hacked exactly like yours almost a month ago and I lost access from it for almost 2 weeks. Then I recovered it with the help of that same guy with the video selfie. She removed a ton of my followers and about 3 photos, and even posted some of hers. And she even sent over 100 messages to all my friends pretending to be me. It was a nightmare!

      1. Yep. The hacker did similar things to my account and it sucked. I’m just happy I got it back, my account has so many important photos to me. I’ve been on there for over 10 years! I’m happy you got your account back. What an ordeal it is to get it back.

  9. I have heard of this happening a lot. I’m going to share this with a few others. I know some others who still haven’t been able to recover their accounts yet.

    1. Thanks for sharing. It’s really important to note that these hackers do a great job at impersonating the hacked user. I fell for it, I really thought I was talking to my friend!

  10. Thank you for the tips! This is getting all too common. It’s sad that they can get control in about a minute, and it takes us forever to get our own accounts back. Changes need to be made.

    1. Agreed! We think we’re secure but we’re not. I wish Instagram would send out warnings that these things are happening.

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