My Personal Instagram account got hacked at 10:00 am on April 19, 2022. The hackers changed my email address, phone number, IG Username, and added two-factor authentication. I am completely locked out of my own account, which not only feels incredibly violating but is also excruciatingly disappointing considering I have had OmgSteph since the dawn of the app.
I wish the hacking was the gist of it – there’s more. These hackers called, texted, and emailed repeatedly. The messages all involve threats and harassing me and demanding money for the account. Fortunately, during some of the phone calls, I was sitting face-to-face with a police officer who kindly tried to help me. On the call, we were able to determine that they have African accents and the hackers are actually hackers! We were able to determine it’s an organization (we think in Nigeria) of individuals targeting Instagram accounts. What do they want? Cryptocurrency.
They’ve had my account for about 2 weeks and have been re-posting content about bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrencies, reaching out to my contacts and luring them into scams and hackings to extort and continue this cycle. The impersonating me takes it to a new level that I really can’t even fathom.
Like saying goodbye to an account that I’ve had for over 12 years sucks enough, this whole hacking experience has also been beyond painful, as it’s been triggering awful PTSD trauma responses. After having so many sessions with my therapist in such a short amount of time, I started wondering how many other people are dealing with this? How many others have been hacked? Scammed? Is there a digital self-defense out there?
At the beginning of this experience, I took the hacking of my account so personally, as I was extremely triggered. I felt conflicted with my own emotions. I should be angry, furious, wanting revenge… yet, I find myself sorry for their actions and disappointed at whatever force makes them desperate enough to take these actions.
Please report the account! Help me get the account taken down so others won’t be harassed, hassled, extorted, manipulated, and/or scammed. No one deserves to feel violated and stripped of your digital persona and profiles. I have tried reporting the account to Instagram multiple times, I have reported it to the FBI and the local police department and still, nothing has happened.
I want to help others who experienced the hacking as I find that this is happening on a large scale. So let’s be safe out there in the digital world, and don’t forget to add your two-factor authentication to everything now!
Stay safe everyone!
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