How my Instagram got hacked with a phishing e-mail and how I got it back

Getting hacked on Instagram is my biggest fear. My Instagram account Essere Moda is 2 years old now, where I like to show my passion and love of brands to others. Still, it happened to me on Monday, June 26, 2017 when I was in the train. My Instagram account was gone as if I did not exist in the past two years.
It started on Saturday, June the 24th, 2017 when I received an e-mail from my mobile phone, through my business e-mail address. I thought it was an e-mail from Instagram, in which it appeared in English that they will block my account, because my account contained pornographic photos. Through a link, I could make a notification if the message wasn’t correct. As I read that message, I panicked. The first thing I thought of was: ‘HELP! Not my account that I’ve built for 2 years’, so I clicked on the link.

I got to see Instagram’s login screen. It all seemed so real, so it made me enter my username and password.

I would get a notification on Instagram where I had to click ‘It Was Me’. I’ve never received this message. The following day on Sunday, June the 26th, 2017, I received an e-mail with sender Instagram Notif. I opened the e-mail and found out that the e-mail was intended for a completely different e-mail address. It was spam, without doing anything with the e-mail I deleted it.

On Monday, June the 27th, 2017, I wanted to place a Boomerang on Instagram via my mobile. At one time a screen appeared where I had to enter my phone number, which I would get a code to verify my account. Through a sms from Facebook, I received a code. After completing the code, I received a message that the code was incorrect. I clicked again on ‘send code’ and filled out the code again. This time I was notified that the code had expired. And so this went 14 times.In panic I called my boyfriend and heard from him that my account was gone. I could cry! It seemed like my world collapsed. I have become a victim of a phishing e-mail.

 ‘If I knew that the link that I’ve opened through e-mail, wasn’t a real link from Instagram, then I would’ve never opened this. I’ve been scammed by clicking on this link.’

The next day I reported to the police. Unfortunately, they could not handle my case now, because the approach to other crimes takes precedence. If they decide to investigate my case at a later time, they will let me know. It cannot just be that my account is immediately gone and cannot be retrieved?!

But I don’t give up. Via google, I came to the help center of Instagram. After following the steps, I received an e-mail asking me to send one of the documents to show that it’s my business account, so I sent my Chamber of Commerce overview and my VAT and tax return. On Tuesday, June the 28th, 2017, I received an e-mail from Instagram that I could change my password. I did that, but after that I received a screen again where I had to fill out my phone number to verify my account. I was redirected to Instagram’s login screen every time. I’ve immediately sent Instagram a message to explain what I saw. On Wednesday, June the 29th, I received an e-mail from which I could change my password. Meanwhile, a friend called me to let me know that I’m on Instagram again. I was jumping for joy! This time I could change my password without filling out a code, YAY!

It was quite a process. I’ve learned my lesson. But I’m so happy and thankful that my account is back, thanks to Instagram.


Sandra Espina



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