The story of what happened to us and how we got our account back:
November 23rd, 2017, our Instagram account got hijacked! We couldn’t get access to the account because the hijackers had changed the email, password, and everything!
We found out about the hack while we were live on Monty’s Facebook early that morning in the garden. We suddenly got logged off Facebook and I (Mikala) got a message saying that someone logged into my account and Facebook was asking if it was me. I panicked and pressed “No this wasn’t me” and then I had control again. I rushed to my computer to see if the admins for Monty’s Facebook page had changed, and they had! Someone we didn’t know was suddenly an admin but I was also still admin, so I took the person off right away and banned him! I rushed to log in to our Instagram and my heart sank. I literally screamed! The only thing that was there was an empty account that said in the bio “This account has been wiped”! It had NOTHING! No pics, no friends, no NOTHING! We panicked and Michael started to check our email addresses. Because we were super fast finding out about the hack (since we were live at the time), Michael managed to gain control over one of the hacked email accounts they had used to make a new Instagram account that they had been smart enough to call our original Instagram name. They wanted us to believe that our account had been wiped and we believed them!
How did we get our account back?
We tried EVERYTHING we could possibly think of and find on google! That one email address Michael managed to get control over was the reason we got back in!
After two days of searching everywhere for 48 hours straight with not much food or any sleep, we thought we had tried everything. Suddenly, out of the blue, Michael found an email that contained a link to undo the changes the hackers had made when they changed email. We literally froze because this was just too good to be true! He pressed that button and a window from Instagram popped up saying that the old email was changed back and asking if we wanted to change the password! I have never seen Michael shake like he did when he typed in a new password and BANG we were back in!
We put the two-way security on and sat for a long time just looked at each other like we couldn’t believe it! But that was it! We were back in and Monty’s happy universe with all our friends was back!
That was the good news, but sadly all of our happy content was deleted by the hackers and all the people we had followed were unfollowed. Then a crazy thing happened again! The hackers had also hijacked our website and PayPal and it was the day before Black Friday so their plan was to harvest the income from that day on Monty’s website. So while we tried to get back into Monty’s Instagram account we also tried everything we could to get our website back and YOU folks did that for us! It was a holiday and our domain host was on vacation but you amazing people spammed their Facebook with so many messages and comments about us needing help that we suddenly got a call all the way from Israel asking if we were the owners of the website and then we got it back easily and they kindly asked us to tell our fans to stop spamming them! 😛
PayPal gave us control again and the income that had been stolen. It was not much because we had told all you NOT to buy anything and luckily we had an Etsy page so we referred to that. All the orders were shipped out and everyone got their packages and we managed to collect a great portion of money for shelter cats.
With that whole crazy story in mind, here is our advice to everyone that has been hacked on Instagram and/or Facebook:
First step is to:
- Check if you have access to the email that is connected to your hacked account.
- If so, look for an email stating that you have changed email and if you haven’t you can click a link to revert (but hurry because the hackers get an email the second you change it back and if you aren’t fast enough typing in your new password they can get it back again! And remember to type a password that you have NEVER used before and write it down FAST so you can remember!)
- If you can’t access your email, hurry and call your email provider to report the hack and regain control as soon as possible.
- File a report to Instagram/Facebook! For that you need to know which email address you made your hacked account with. Then you can file a report and you should be able to get it back. You need to know if the hackers wiped your account completely, or—most likely—hijacked and wiped it for your content but not followers.
- Check if your account is still on Instagram/Facebook by asking a friend to look at it with their own profile. Ask someone who followed your account if they can see an account they follow that they don’t know. If that account has no pictures but the number of followers you had or your pictures are still there, IT’S YOURS!
Next you need to do whatever you can to find EVERY email address you can to Instagram and Facebook (Instagram is owned by Facebook).
We also contacted “Teneo Blue Rubicon” who got the message to Instagram from us.
When you have filed the report to Instagram/Facebook, don’t just sit and wait! Do all the other steps and contact a company like Teneo Blue Rubicon and ask them for help. Use your network and don’t give up!
If you got your Instagram account back, remember to set the two-factor authentication on and remember that you can only have ONE phone number connected to one account! If you use your phone number to secure another Instagram account your first account is not safe anymore because the two-factor authentication will automaticly be off.
This may sound weird that we freaked out about almost losing our Instagram account but for us it’s a big part of our life! We have met most of our best friends from Instagram and we are using Monty’s Happy universe on Instagram to spread happiness and awareness and that means a lot to us.
If you have other advice on what to do if someone gets their account hacked or hijacked, please write it in the comments and we will update the list!