After recovering my hacked Instagram account, I felt a mixture of relief and dismay.
Someone called Bryan hacked my account from Sydney using an iPhone. He was active the first week and continued for three weeks until I was luckily able to recover my access.
Initially, the hacker posted two bitcoin advertisements – but I could remove these using my Facebook Business account. I was unable to remove the messages he was sending to my friends, followers and other random people. The hacker even messaged Queensland Police (with no response).
When I looked at the messages the hacker had sent, I was mortified. He used a simple tactic to lure people to click on the phish link.
The most common message looked rather harmless:
Do you mind if I send you a link then you will have to send it back to me
If the victim asked why the hacker responded with:
I applied for verification here on ig, you just have to send a screenshot of the link message you received via text message that’s all, no big deal
I applied for verification promotion here on Instagram, A link will be sent to you via text message, you just haven’t a screenshot the link and send it back here that’s all, no big deal
If the victim questioned the reason, he said:
I’m trying to login my page my new phone they ask me to find someone to help me receive a help link, will you please
The language was conversational with emojis. Sometimes the English was super ordinary with grammatical typos.
The best way to respond to a hacker is either to ignore the message and then block and report the account. Just say something simple like: Sorry I’ll pass. No. No thanks. or Sorry no.
If you are hacked you can report the incident to Scamwatch, IDCARE, police and phish Instagram support.
The hardest lesson I learnt was to not use your mobile phone while distracted, be wary of what you click on and always use security software.
The one good thing that came out of being hacked was that I had so many messages from people telling me. People could easily spot a hacker’s message and were kind enough to take the time to let me know.