Instagram Account Hacked!

artistfromNW3
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- Mar 9, 2022 at 08:09 PM
 katie - May 13, 2022 at 02:57 PM
Hello,

Two days ago my Instagram Artist Page was hacked. Despite 48 hrs trying to retrieve my account, I have got absolutely nowhere!

Instagram prompted me to upload a video selfie to verify my account. I have now gone through this process 7 times, and 7 times my video has been rejected for reasons, quote: We weren't able to confirm your identity from the video you submitted.

Obviously, I am a human being, not a robot. Photos and videos of myself are featured across my Instagram ... which I no longer am able to access. The hacker has placed an ad for BITCOIN on my grid. Everyone is aware I've been hacked and they've reported it.

Why and how are my verification selfies rejected by Instagram every time? I've even cleared my mobile app's data & cache.

My artist page is vitally important to me. I've spent 2 years of hard work building it up. Can anyone help me, PLEASE?


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10 replies

In exactly the same boat. Very frustrating and it appears Instagram are using bots to review videos are they are coming back as rejected in less than 1 minute. Any help would be appreciated. No luck with Meta support or the selfie process. 8 years of hard work and some moron is posting bitcoin pictures...
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artistfromNW3
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Mar 12, 2022 at 06:10 PM
Thank you so much for your response.

You are, of course, absolutely right! These so-called 'social media account restorers' are indeed scammers themselves. To be honest, I went along with this 'Gary' person till it came to the point where he wanted me to purchase a 'crack log'! Well, when I googled this (as I'd never heard of it) the product is in fact, crack LOCK!!!

Apparently, this was a tool he'd need to 'hack in to the hacker's protocol'. He told me I could purchase this from the Dark Web ...??? I asked him exactly how much that would set me back. He said he'd check, and he'd get back to me.

This conversation was over WhatsApp. It began at just after 7pm and ended at 5.30 am, the following day! He had disappeared at around 2 am, but I kept my mobile handy with the app still open on both my devices. He reappeared at around 5 am. He'd found a seller for the crack log. How much? ...

$200!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you know, that particular software (whatever it's for?) can be downloaded FOR FREE from a variety of websites, suitable for most OS!!! I told him, that was me stuffed, then! I didn't have that kind of money ... (well, not for HIM anyway!) He told me he might be able to find someone selling it cheaper. I told him I'll keep my options open and await his next communication. Needless to say, there was no further communication!

I had been referred to him by a lady who'd reached out to me over Twitter. In fact, a few people on that site were singing the praises of 'Gary'. He had 'restored their hacked accounts in a matter of hours'!!!???

I persevered as a mere research exercise. It had taken me a while to twig, and what actually confirmed my suspicions were his terrible lapses in general spelling and English grammar. Okay, I'm not the grammar police but, if he doesn't even know the correct name of the product he's trying to fleece me for, I rest my case!

My Instagram page is still visible. More adverts for bitcoin are placed on it every day. From a basic little personal IG account, which I set up the other day, I accessed my business account and reported the spam/false information. Immediately, it disappeared from my grid. However, when I accessed it again on a different device, it was back!

I have now uploaded 14 video selfies to Instagram. 13 have been rejected! I am currently awaiting rejection of the 14th; I submitted it at 16.31 pm today, and I had confirmation of receipt 3 mins later!

I see this whole issue should have been reported a couple of days ago to Action Fraud. I've already been in touch with them and will submit a full account of the case.

I noticed that Instagram had sent me email links to reset my password. Unfortunately, these had been sent, not to my email address, but to my hacker's! I've even got the rudiments of his address and have discovered he operates via an Apple iPhone. I will give this information to the Fraud Team.

Whether I will ever get my Instagram back is a question. I had 2-Factor Authentication on! Had I not foolishly clicked on that link from my mobile, none of this would have ever happened! I am neither an influencer or an account with thousands of followers. I cannot possibly see what I can have to offer this hacker. All I do know is, my contacts are being spammed and my professional reputation has been seriously compromised.

Instagram couldn't care less. As far as I see it, they are a multi-billion-dollar organisation who should have an obligation to support their users, both business and personal. I cannot function properly without my account. All my selling and exhibiting opportunities come via there. My website and mailing list link to my Instagram and, worst of all, I have contacts who really are curators, major UK galleries, and influencers in the art world. I cannot imagine the potential risk they now face.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but let this serve as a warning to everyone who has a social media account. NEVER EVER click on a link which you are not 100% sure of!
4
Hi,

I’m on the same boat. I’ll just keep uploading selfie videos….

Let’s keep in touch for updates please!
3
I am in the same boat and you all. I have been trying to get my Instagram back since it was hacked on Thursday. Someone is selling BITcoin on mine too and sending links to people to click on to get more money. They started at 32K and are now up to over 58K. I have tried with no luck contacting Instagram. I even wrote an email to the head of Instagram and posted it on the meta website feedback page - nada. I can't begin to tell you the countless hours and MONEY I have been scammed out of trying to get this back. Now someone is saying I have to buy an Instagram license for my page and I need 4 of them because of the illegal activity on there and they are $100 each - are you kidding me. People are saying they have not gotten their payment but I called Paypal and they confirmed the money went through. I will be a nutcase by the time this is over. Tried to set up a new account and was denied.
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Hi, I got hacked on April 1st as well. I've tried everything & I'm in the same boat - all I can do is send in the selfie videos & I've done that 4 times now - been rejected the first 3 times, so I guess all I can do is just keep submitting videos. I've got my full name on my page & I've had my account for years - it's beyond frustrating that there is no support option to speak to a human being. Just insane. If anyone has any other tips of what to do, I'm game.
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Hi there, have you found out how to get it done?

I wrote some tips above which I just c&p'ed here.

1. You need to show your full face like how you do in your passport picture. Ears are showing enough forehead and etc. I even took my glasses off.

2. They sign off at 6pm in California time. So anything that is submitted afterwards gets denied based on my experiment. When I was successful with the video, I submitted around 11am in their time. So if you’re in UK calculate their time in California! I did it today again for 10am in their time.
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Were you successful? I heard that sending too many videos too fast gets you flagged as spam - is this true? Also, people say don't take it like a passport photo, take it like you look in the photos on your page .What do you think?
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I'm in the same boat as you guys!!! This is horrid! I received '
We weren't able to confirm your identity from the video you submitted. You can submit a new video and we'll review it again' 10 times so far. Contacted instagram on twitter, no answer, no nothing. I'm devastated
1
artistfromNW3
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Mar 10, 2022 at 07:38 AM
Hi Beth,

Thank you for reaching out to me. I didn't realise that Instagram was using bots to review the selfie videos! Now, that does make sense! I'm not long up and awake. This whole business has made me really ill and I'm finding it hard to function. What was one of the first emails I saw on my laptop just now? ... Instagram:

'We weren't able to confirm your identity from the video you submitted. You can submit a new video and we'll review it again.'

Congratulations! That is now the 9th identical response I've achieved from them! Obviously, neither of us will ever get our accounts back in this way.

Right. Let's try and sort this today. I went into Twitter a few hours ago, and posted my story on one of the Instagram accounts there. I received a response from a lady who had experienced exactly the same as us. Here is what she posted in reply to my Tweet:

'You’re just wasting your time with them, their support takes forever. I had similar issue some weeks ago until I had to send a request to techofficer_gary on Instagram who helped me retrieve my account. You can send him a request for assistance.'

It looks as if a number of IG users had been getting the BITCOIN hack! This 'techofficer_gary' name was being mentioned by many of the victims as the person who finally got their accounts back for them. Of course, I can no longer access Instagram to contact him, SOoooo ... I will try to set up another account in the name of my cat! Don't worry, he has a human name with 2 parts which read like a fore and surname! If I can achieve this, I will attempt to contact 'Gary'. I suggest you try the same thing. Let's see if either of us get anywhere!!!
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Good luck, please let me know how you go. Take care though, lots of nefarious people out there...
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artistfromNW3
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Mar 10, 2022 at 05:16 PM
Hi Beth,

Gary is working on it as we speak. He responded to my call for help at around 7 pm this evening. Initially, I was unable to reach him because all my Instagram access was locked! However, I found a way from my mobile and created a basic account featuring my 3 pets. It's amazing how many people liked the photos of 2 of them!

My hacked account is still visible if you follow the link to it via Google. There's even more spam rubbish placed on there, next to the BITCOIN stuff.

I just hope and pray Gary can fix this. And if he can, what will Instagram do if they see my account is back up and running? ... Or don't they care?
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Okay fantastic! Let me know how he goes. Fingers crossed you get your account back!
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HelpiOS
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Mar 12, 2022 at 05:06 PM
Hello,

Sorry to say that, but you're being scammed! No one outside Instagram is able to recover or unlock an account. Anyone who claims to be able to do so is a scammer!

Several of those "hackers" - including "Gary" are in circulation on the social networks for the sole purpose of stealing your personal information and probably your money.

If they attempt to access your account, Instagram will lock it again for security reasons, thus it is impossible for them to restore your account for you.

I understand how it can be difficult to recover an account in some cases, but those "hackers" are just there to trick you - they aren't the solution. Stop contacting them and block them immediately.

Regarding your issue with the selfie verification process, I invite you to refer to this similar thread. Some people have found workarounds.

If you've any question, don't hesitate to ask me.

Good luck
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artistfromNW3
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Mar 15, 2022 at 09:07 AM
Hi Miri!

PLEASE stay in touch!!!

Well, I can tell you that I was finally able to reach a 'report' form on Instagram when I clicked on 'Report an Impersonation Account' from the offending page. I had established the likely source of the hack. It was there, sitting in a comment (beneath the BITCOIN spam) on my Artist Page! I had the name of the suspect, everything!

After I'd reported it, I received an email from Facebook. They instructed me to upload a photo of myself holding a Govt-issued form of ID in order to verify my authenticity! The only ID I possess is a UK Citizencard.

OMG, though, it isn't easy taking a selfie which can show such a small card clearly! But, I submitted it with some extra information on the hacker ... and I received a reply.

REJECTED! 'We were unable to confirm your identity'!!! Same old thing as with the selfie videos. I must have submitted 4 more photos with my ID. I even scanned my Citizencard, my TFL travel card, and both my debit and credit cards in order they could see these cards close up. NOooooo!!!!!! REJECTED! 'Sorry, unable to confirm your ID'!

Can you understand this? I have a Facebook Artist Account which is connected to my Instagram one. Surely, they can see I am who I say I am!

They have since ceased all communication with me. I have lost my Artist (business) Account which had taken me 2 years to build up. All my other online professional accounts link to that. How nice, when curators, galleries etc click on the IG icon and get taken to a page with BITCOIN spam sitting on it! It is obvious that I am being treated as the criminal here, and my Instagram is lost for good.

Artist friends have advised to take the only option open to me; set up a brand new Artist Account. I will have to do this, but it won't bring my followers back, even if they were only 670 at the last count. Over the past week, the number had fallen by almost 40. My hacked page is still visible, and Instagram will not remove the reported hacker or his account.

Let's stay in touch, and I'll be happy to update you on any developments.
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Hi artistfromNW3

It is honestly a terrible situation. I am so sorry to hear that. Could you tell me how you got some info about the hacker?

Also we should keep trying the selfie video. I was confirmed yesterday! And when I logged back in, the hacker took it back almost immediately.

But I kind of realized what the problems were. I might be wrong.

1. You need to show your full face like how you do in your passport picture. Ears are showing enough forehead and etc. I even took my glasses off.

2. They sign off at 6pm in California time. So anything that is submitted afterwards gets denied based on my experiment. When I was successful with the video, I submitted around 11am in their time. So if you’re in UK calculate their time in California! I did it today again for 10am in their time.

I’m so pissed off because I was successful and got it stolen right after but I’m going to try again. Yes everybody says I should create a new one too, but I can’t stand the fact that a lot of other people are getting it back simply doing the selfie video..

Hope you can find your account back. I’m not tied to my account that much, but it sounds like your account is more crucial for your career.

I’ll keep you posted!
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artistfromNW3
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4 > miri
Mar 17, 2022 at 09:59 PM
Hi miri,

In the end, I just gave up. It came to the point where I could see Facebook were intent on permanently denying me access to my account.

I will tell you how I got my lead on the suspect. My old Instagram account is still visible. The old page was: graysonartist. You will probably be able to view it as well. Do NOT get confused with my new page! You will see the first 2 posts on that page are BITCOIN spam! If you click on those 2 posts, a comment will show directly beneath. These comments (using MY old handle!) are thanking the (suspect) hacker for services rendered! If you then click on HIS handle, it will take you to his account page. Clearly his account is fake! You ask yourself, how has he so many followers with so few posts? Also, his posts have no content or meaning whatsoever. All that IS hinted on there is a link to BITCOIN!

So many of my fellow artists and friends have reported his page, long past the point where I just gave up. They had also reported my account was hacked, time and time again. Facebook were not concerned.

I finally took the advice to cut my losses and just open a new Artist Account. People have been overwhelmingly supportive and, in just 2 days, I have got back 75 new followers! For me, this is MEGA!

AS I probably mentioned before, I am neither an influencer or a high-flying celeb account. I am a practising artist who uses Instagram to draw prospective buyers and art collectors to my work. I also use it as a networking community to meet and converse with other artists, plus the opportunities listed on there are vital to creatives, like me, who are looking to exhibit their work. In other words, I have NOTHING possibly worth stealing by hacking my account!

The lesson learnt here is, NEVER click on an unknown link (whether via text or email) even if you think it's safe. Nine out of ten, it ISN'T!

Mo
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