If you’ve been receiving strange messages from me lately about money or joining a clothing line, you’re either wondering why it sounds so strange or excited that I’d be starting a clothing line that I’ve never mentioned. There’s only one problem, that’s not actually me. On Monday, April 17 at around 230pm PST, I clicked a link from a hacked friend who actually does sell clothes, and my account was instantly hacked. I was locked out of my account (while I was in it), the password and info changed, 2FA was turned on, and I can’t get back in. Due to the fact that its my main account, I couldn’t properly spread the word that the account had been hacked and warn people not to click on any link that may be sent. Some people reached out to me first on other accounts and I was able to warn them, but I’m hoping no one else fell for the trick through my account and suffered the same fate. This has been happening a lot lately on Instagram’s platform.
I immediately reached out to Instagram as well as followed the steps in their help center and haven’t heard a response. Not even a promise of a response. I’ve tried reaching out on other platforms, directly emailed, but it doesn’t seem they care about the issue at hand. The hacker was able to send the bad link to my phone from their legitimate number used to receive verification codes. I would think they’d be concerned that their number if being spoofed and used in such a way, especially because its happened to more people over the course of a week, but again, no response. So what should one do when this happens? Start over? Keep trying? Pay a better hacker some large sum of money to get back into the account?
When I started my business back in 2015, I made accounts on several social media platforms on the same day. I wasn’t (and still really am not) into using social media, but was told at the time that it was a great way to get the word out there about my business and draw people in. I made a Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Of all those, Instagram was the easiest and most interesting to use, and my small efforts were seeing results which was so exciting! Since then, I’ve cultivated it into a small community that I can use to make friends and showcase the craft I’m so proud of, even if it doesn’t always work out. I’ve allowed people to know me better with videos about what goes on, like videos and images of my beloved Koneko, I spent years building a reputation with my shop and myself as a reliable friend that people can talk to when they need and have told me things over DMs, and in one click of a button, I was locked out of it and someone else took over this part of my life. While I do have those other social media accounts, they weren’t cultivated and have barely any followers. Instagram was the main source of audience for my business, so without that account, I don’t have a way to continue reaching my target market.
The question has been asked, “Why don’t you just make another account and start over?”
I could. It is always a possibility to make another account. My account info was changed, so I’m sure I could use the same email and phone number from when I started. However, not only has the platform made it far more difficult to create a community from scratch with their ridiculous algorithms, but I don’t want to lose 8 years worth of hard work and the chronological log of my progress that my account showcases. I don’t want to lose that nor do I want someone else holding onto it indefinitely or exploiting it and continuing to ruin my reputation and then TEASNG me by continuing to reach out to me either via my other account or even to my cell phone (yes, the hacker texts me saying they’re Instagram trying to get more info, but it isn’t them)! I don’t understand why no one from Instagram is reaching out, or why the steps in their help center have proved completely fruitless (either their links don’t work or I keep getting denied for verification), but I’m determined to get my account back from the low-lives who hijacked it.
If you’d like to reach out to me in the meantime, there are a few ways to do so. You can use the Dragon Dandy discord server, or you can follow my other account Huff Hallow. I won’t be posting any Dragon Dandy stuff on my Huff Hallow account, because it’s a different business, but you can still reach me through DM’s. If anyone has any solutions or suggestions that can help anyone going through this same issue with their social media accounts, feel free to leave a comment below. In the meantime, this account seems to have something to do with it as they were the first thing the hacker posted to my account after it was taken over, so feel free to report them in the hopes that they get taken down by the platform.