ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Has a hacker taken over control of your Instagram or Facebook account? Good luck getting it back. For nearly three weeks Better Call Harry has been trying to get Instagram to return a hijacked account to its rightful owner.
On August 1st, the victim lost control of an account she'd had for years. The hacker messaged all of her contacts begging for money. Two fell victim and sent $120 via Cash App.
In repeated emails the victim tried to convince Instagram to return her account by sending photos with a hand written code required to prove her identity. But it didn't work, the hacker changed the victims email and phone number.
Facebook's media relations team (FB owns Instagram) did not return repeated requests by CBS46 News for help. It was only after we reached out to an older contact that we received a return call. Although the information was somewhat helpful, the statement provided 4 days later was generic at best, signed by "A Facebook Company Spokesperson."
The bottom line, if you want to protect your account, any account, set up two-factor authentication. The teen victim never got her account back. The reality is that if your account is hacked, there's a pretty good chance you'll have to start a new account and start over.
“Scams and impersonation attempts violate our rules, as does fake engagement and spammy behavior. We’ve built reporting in-app for people to let us know when they see suspicious or fraudulent content and accounts. We remove accounts when they are in violation of our policies. More information on how to report this type of behavior is outlined in our Help Center. We regularly monitor for trends and are always improving our systems to provide a better experience for our community.” – A Facebook Company Spokesperson