**Cue [ Dramatic music from the Twilight Zone]
On September 2, 2022 my Instagram account got hacked.
7:29am said my phone when I opened my eyes, woke up like any other day, tuning to my favorite radio show, and suddenly I felt the need to check my Instagram account, which honestly I never do until it’s 9am or later.
Still with my fuzzy vision, I started to notice that some people were commenting on a recent post from the day before, but it seemed odd because the picture on the profile was not my picture…
“Maybe it's someone writing to me? Or
“Maybe they’re writing to the vliving account?”
I switched my account and went to check if the comment was coming from that account, nope.. “Weird who can that be…”
And as I try to log back in into my account
And it says
I try to log back in, and says
"You've Been Logged out
Please log back in”
I try and nothing.
At this point I don’t understand what’s happening but I’m getting annoyed that I can't log in…
And in some odd way, I believe someone is pretending to be me… LOL now that I think about it, it's crazy, like why??
So, I go to the kitchen and think to myself
“Wait for a few minutes, make yourself your tea, and then try again”
A little bit more awake now, I try again, and I’m not able to log in, but I managed to see inside that my email had been changed and that my phone number was also changed to +91…
Obviously I turned to google, and +91 is in India.
Ok, now I have confirmation
“I’ve been hacked, WTF!”
From that moment on, my brain literally shuts.
I wasn't mad, I wasn't hysterical, I wasn’t crying, I was just numb.
7:43am and I sat down in front of my computer to tell my team the IG account had been hacked…
My business manager Mary, says “it’s been hacked” more proof
Now My Designer who is also our Social Media Agency gets into the conversation:
9:30am I’m sitting in front of my computer, my breakfast to my right side, and I have no stomach for food…which is never the case because this girl can eat, and never says no to breakfast…but not today.
All I felt was I wanted to throw up, and as I’m trying to force myself to eat my brain is trying to think.
“What can I do, who can I call to help me?”
“Did they steal anything else?”
Had to stop my breakfast, and immediately went to check my bank account, my Facebook, and all my social media accounts just to be sure that nothing else was stolen.
All seems in order.
9:30am still, got the link from my team to chat with the Meta Support Team. - (I’m going to keep telling my story, and at the end I will give you the step by step process and screenshot of what I said to the Meta Team, and how that got resolved)
I start to chat with Meta, well my brain calls them "Facebook…" with a guy called chandler… LOL and not the one from Friends!
The person seems very nice, very understanding, and he tells me that he’s gonna call me from 12:00pm-2:00pm
In my mind, I was relieved that he said he was going to call me… because FB being such a big company getting back to me by phone was something that I would have never expected…
So many big companies don’t have customer service whatsoever…
“Why would Meta be different… well… People pay big bucks running FB ads!! So that must be it + the other different businesses they have…”
So, while I was waiting I needed to come up with contingency plans, what to do next.
Our post for that day is not happening.
I should tell my closest people that I follow and especially those with bigger accounts that I’ve been hacked…in case these people try to contact them.
I honestly don't know what’s inside of a hacker's mind, but I’ve heard of so many stories of hackers pretending to be that account and asking for money, that I thought...
"I need to protect my people"
Team V was amazing! They created a new account veronicadipolo_ (now, its been deleted) to safeguard the name, they created a short video with what I’ve been telling people in DM’s and we began to post that, on all our social media accounts, WhatsApp groups to let them know what happened.
Call me crazy, but when I’m in crisis mode. I go to my shell. The last thing I want to do is talk about the same subject over and over… and my only concern is to resolve it no matter what! strategy, strategy, strategy.
The entire day I felt I was holding my breath for the longest time, until it got solved.
My brain didn't want to think about tomorrow or the future, I was only focused in the now, like right now what can I do?.
2: 30pm Chandler Called me!
Very politely he began to ask me the same questions we spoke on the chat.
“Breathe breathe, answer him politely as well because you want him to solve this”
As I’m answering his questions I’m not so sure he’s really getting what I want, because now he says he’s going to send me an email right away.
3:52pm Got the email and it said I need to share how I login…
my brain is like
“Do you want me to show you how I login to the account that I don't have? Or do you want me to login with the name of the hacker and my password?”
This was so confusing to me…
I waited for another hour to think some more.
“What else could I do?, Don’t think a simple email will solve anything…They must get at least 1 Billion emails of people being hacked, and other problems”
And the biggest recurring thought I had all day was…
**Cue [The music for Law & Order ]
“When a child gets kidnapped the immediate hours are crucial for finding that child to retrace the steps. If someone burglarizes your home, the next 48 hours are important to find the thieves. So if that’s the case, no wonder when the chat started and I received the email it said.”
Please be advised that this email ticket will be closed by the system after 48 hours, should we not receive any response from your end.
“Then I need to make them want to help in these 48 hours and make them take my little Instagram case seriously"
4:59pm So, I decided that I was going to reach out again to the Meta Support team, and see if I get someone else that could really help me.
On a side note - the moment you begin the chat with Meta, they immediately assign you a new ticket number.
And that was the first thing I said to my new BFF from Meta, but this time I had a strategy on how to talk to them!
Well, in retrospect, I only realized I had a plan the moment I began to chat with Millette, my soon to be savior.
My plan was to not be hopeful, reluctant, not really believing they would really take the time to help me.
But Millette’s words were different from the other agent.
She (“maybe she’s not a she but in my mind I made into a woman, maybe because I thought she should understand me better…”)
She asked different questions from the other agent, I could imagine her asking me and then filling out the report.
And to my ears she used a magic word - E S C A L A T E
“I'm still checking and trying to escalate it”
“Hmm… like who are you talking to?? To the Meta Hacker Division? I'm so curious to know this part!!”
I closed my chat with Millette, not hopeful, just as I’ve started it, but felt that maybe this person did get me a little bit better.
Millette told me that I should wait for an email from the Meta team with more instructions.
So, I patiently waited
8:03pm I got my next email.
This time it was different, they told me to create a loom recording.
When I answered the previous email it never said video, and I thought to myself
“Maybe you Fucked it up and delayed the process because I didn't send that video in the first place but only a screenshot, you lazy B….”
By 8:00pm you can imagine I was already punishing myself why the hell I was so lazy that I didn't have a 2 factor authentication (definitely a topic for another blog, but not right now)!
Did the Instagram recording and sent it.
Now the best part comes in!
7:46pm Password reset on Instagram got an email to my newly created email account from Instagram which I did not realize until right now!
My timelines don’t add up!
I must have been on the phone or trying to distract myself because I only saw this email after 8:00pm.
All I know is that when I saw this email in my inbox I thought!
“OH MY GOD THIS IS IT!”
“Can this be true? Don’t think about it, calm down, stop your stomach from jumping, read the instructions 3 times and hold your breath”
“Hallelujah!!!! I’m getting to reset something!!”
Emails came in from Instagram
8:24pm Username changed on Instagram
8:28pm Phone number added on Instagram
“I can breathe again!!!”
Quickly jumped on social media to immediately share that we have control!
**Cue [music Fuck you]
This is the end for this part of my nightmare, but a happy ending.
Never thought I would be sharing this entire experience here, but because I’ve been getting plenty of messages as to how I managed to recover my account, I've decided to put together a document with my step by steps, links, chat conversations with the Meta team, Security checkups after recovery, and recommendations on this pdf.
I will not be promoting this guide anywhere, only on this blog post.
So, if you've read this far, and you want to get your hands on this guide, I only ask that you:
Go to my Instagram account @veronicadipolo
Send us a DM asking for the Guide
Provide your name and email to send it to your inbox.
For obvious reasons, we’re removing our personal information, so if you’re reading this, use it wisely, and don't send it to other people. If someone is asking you, "How did you get it?"
Please ask them to come to this post and read how to get it. I know people loveeee to not do the work... and they want things to be done for them. They want it, they can come and get the instructions here, that's all I ask.
Inside of this document you’ll find:
The link to access the Meta Support Team
Chat #1 for your reference only, in case you get someone like that on the other side.
Chat #2 The recovery. Read in detail what was asked of me, what I gave them to support their questions, screenshots, contact, etc. The more details you can provide them the better.
Recommendation after recovery
Checklist for all steps.
Any further comments or questions please send them to our DM on Instagram