My Instagram Account Got Hacked: What To Do To Avoid It Happening to YOU


The last few weeks have been a whirlwind at Oliamoda, from celebrating 35 years of life to losing my business in an instant; my emotions have been tested. I have been building my brand on Instagram for the past five years and even though I have other platforms like this blog, Facebook and Pinterest, Instargm is by far my biggest. It is also the place I spend most of my time on due to the connections and relationships that this platform makes possible.

The unthinkable happen on August 10th, 2018.  My account was taken over by hackers.  These hackers, extortionists or criminals, we could call them all three, took over all I have built and worked for in an instant and demanded money to regain access to my Instagram account.

How it happened:

I received a collaboration email, that looked like many other collab requests that I get on a daily basis. I clicked on the link and it prompted me to log into my IG account. I thought nothing of it at the time. I checked out the brand, sent them my quotes and media kit and went on with my day. It happened to be the day I posted a collaboration with Herbal Essence on my IG. Later in the day, I went in to see how the post was performing and checked my DMs. I was stunned to see my account logged out with a message that “oliamoda” account does not exist.

My heart was beating a mile a minute. I quickly went to my computer to investigate and found the same result. I found an email from IG saying that my email was changed.  I clicked on the button that says “If it is not you click here to revert it”, but it did nothing. I clicked and clicked and realized that I was in deep trouble. The hackers changed my username, my password, and the email connected to my account. I felt completely helpless! How could someone so easily take complete control of my account, my brand, OliaModa?!

On Instagram’s help page it says bright and clear if you delete your account it is irreversible. With this message in mind I was manipulated further. I filled out the missing account form on IG help page, but had little faith that I will get through to anyone.

I then discovered an email with subject line HACK. This is where my real nightmare began. Remembering what I found on IG helpline, I fell into hackers trap. They demanded money via bitcoin and threatened to DELETE my account. I thought and stressed all day about what to do. I called everyone I knew and learned of other bloggers who have gone through this or were going through the same scary this at the same time as me. I received a great piece of advice from someone who once worked at FB, fill out the form and wait till Monday. It will get resolved he promised, but I just could not wait, knowing my professional future and company was on the line….

Instead, I stared at my computer, getting myself more worried and more depressed. I could not bare the thought of losing five years worth of hard work and content. I negotiated with the hackers to send them money via Western Union, not bitcoin. This is when I realized these guys were based in the  Ukraine.

I found a few articles that headlined about Russian hackers attacking IG accounts. Hackers could be from anywhere, much of the media focuses on Russian and Chinese hackers, but these specific hackers were based in Ukraine. They are the same ones who attacked so many  other bloggers within the same time period as I was targeted. I also learned about incidents with Turkish hackers, Indian and so many more. I felt doomed and manipulated by these criminals. I was promised I will receive my account back once they receive “their” money.   After agonizing over the decision of whether to pay them I regretfully did so.  Sadly I got nothing in return.

As this was happening to me, I received an enormous amount of support from other fellow bloggers. I also learned of another blogger named Darcy who was in the same shoes as me at the same time. She too has written about her terrifying experience. Read it here. We supported each other through this ordeal, which seemed lonely and scary to say the least.

As per a recent tweet and Refinery blog post, “Instagram is aware of the problem and is doing everything they can to help those affected.”  In a recent tweet they mention that they are changing the two factor authentication process to make it stronger and safer.  This step cannot happen any faster with so many large accounts being affected by this epidemic.

After almost 72 agonizing hours, I received a log in email to get my account back from Instagram. I was overjoyed to say the least. I turned on my 2 factor authentication and changed every log in possible on each of my accounts. You should always have the two factor turned on at all times. This simple step would have saved me from this life altering situation.

Instagram is hyper aware of this problem and is working hard to help hundreds of us effected. After all, Instagram provides a business platform for people like myself and other business accounts alike and should give all its users, especially those who use it as their main business platform, a safe and reliable site.

If this has happened to you or is happening to you, try not to panic. Do not respond to the hackers, the criminals.  Fill out this webform on IG and stay patient and positive, it will be recovered. For more information, visit the Instagram Help Centre which includes steps you can take to restore your account, as well as Security Tips.

Ultimately, I learned a big lesson. Do not trust any email that comes your way and be thorough on how you review all emails as they could be a trap. These hackers are clever and can trick even the best business eye. They want your money and have tactics to tempt you to give in, but they cannot take your passion and love for what you do. Be cautious and smart about every move online.  My goal is to inform you all about my experience and hope you are better equipped for a situation like mine.

Also remember the power of connections and support systems.  I made some amazing new friends along this stressful path.

If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Thank you for reading and keep styling,



OIia Kedik
Related Posts

21 Discussion to this post

  1. Cassie says:

    This is definitely one of my fears! I was trying to get a client’s page verified via Telegram, found a guy who said he could do it instantly then my red flags went up. It seemed to bee too easy so I backed away. 2 factor authentication is essential.

  2. GiGi Eats says:

    Oh gosh!! I am SO SO SO glad that you got your account back! This is terrifying!!!! I was hacked one time – where someone was on my account (as I was too) and they unfollowed EVERYONE I followed and followed 3k random accounts! It was awful too!

  3. Shane Prather says:

    Oh my I am so sorry to hear this happened to you! Such a scary experience. Thank you for sharing your tips to keep us safe!

  4. I just turned on the two way verification, hopefully I never have this issue. Glad you were able to get your account back.

  5. Nancie says:

    Sorry, you had to go through this, and glad to read that Instagram got your account back. Two-step authorization is important on every account these days.

  6. What an absolute nightmare! I really feel for what you went through. We really need to get better at tracking down and dealing with these criminals. At least you did manage to get it back and thank you for sharing this and the 2 pieces of critical advice – don’t engage in communicating with these hackers and have a 2-step authentication process.

  7. Oh my gosh, this is so terrible! I’m so sorry that this horrible things happened to you. Thanks for sharing these tips to avoid it happening to the rest of us, though xo

  8. Marcie says:

    OMG what a stressful ordeal! I’ve been hearing more and more stories about this! Yikes!

  9. Diana Tidswell says:

    I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your account but I am glad that you were able to get your account back. I will follow that procedure for my own security, thanks for sharing!

  10. Rachael Eberhardt says:

    I have never experience this issue on my social media account but thank you for sharing your experience with us at least now I can secure my account.

  11. Serin says:

    Oh my gosh that sounds so scary, my worst nightmare! I’m glad you got your account back but what a horrible experience!

  12. I am sorry to hear what you went through and so glad you got your account back. I loathe people like these hackers and scammers. who have nothing better to do with their lives, apparently, than to make other people miserable and to interfere with their lives. And unfortunately, like you said, they are getting more clever and insidious with making emails and notifications look authentic, when in fact they are NOT. My general rule is to NEVER click on a link in an email to any of my accounts, and go directly to the account instead.

  13. Geraline Batarra says:

    This is such a nice post and very informative. I have never had a problem with my social media accounts but definitely this is such a great way to secure our accounts.

  14. I couldn’t imagine how stressed you would have been when your Instagram account got hacked. Thanks for the tips. I already use two factor authentication for my Insta and FB account. Thanks for sharing..!!!

  15. I always thought the two factor sign in was a pain but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Turning my own ASAP

  16. I always thought the two factor sign in was a pain but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Turning my own ASAP

  17. Whitney says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’d never heard of this as I’m not active on Instagram right now, but it’s a shame someone would do this. I’m glad you got it resolved.

  18. Britney says:

    Omg that would send me in a panic as well! I have the two-factor auth. on my Ig!

  19. Vu Ha says:

    This is my concerns when I use instagram or facebook. I will use two factor sign to makesure that my accounts are safe.

  20. Alexis says:

    That is one of my nightmares, any of my social accounts really. Thank you for the tips though on how to protect ourselves.

  21. Amanda says:

    I am always anxious about getting hacked! As someone that runs a business off of instagram it can be scary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up to receive a little dash of fancy in your mailbox
A Monthly Newsletter
100% Privacy. We don't spam.