March 30, 2023
I wrote about the website troubles I had brought upon myself the other day – but what I left out, was that while the website was down, some hacker from across the globe decided to hack into my Instagram account and hold it for ransom.
Apparently, this is becoming more and more commonplace and Instagram doesn’t seem to care about any of it. I tried in vain for ages to alert them to what was happening. I sent them screenshots where the hacker made threats to me about deleting my content unless a pay a fee to get the account back. We both know full well that there was going to be a returning of the account even if I had agreed to pay. I would have handed over my hard earned cash, just to be told that I now had to send more, and so on and so forth. I chose not to comply.
Each day, this hacker would delete more and more of my photographs off of the account – but worst of all, this person was contacting my followers and asking them for money; sometimes guised as selling cryptocurrency. Those that know me personally know that I would never ask for money in that way, nor would I ever move in the whole cryptocurrency market. It’s just not me. That fancy new Cadillac that was posted as being my new ride – that wasn’t me either. Sadly.
Bit by bit, the more than twelve-hundred photographs that I have posted over the past decade become fewer and fewer while I waited for Instagram to do something. Anything. I asked people to report the account and about two months later, finally, Instagram did something. They shut the account down. That meant the account I had spent so much time on, posting content on for years and years, was gone. Twelve-hundred posts and the more than five thousand followers with it. Up in smoke.
Disheartened – I contemplated staying off of social media altogether. But friends kept urging me to re-start the account and keep going. Prior to the account getting deleted – the hacker changed the account name and the location, from Canada to Nigeria, and to my name without the word photography attached at the end. He also (speaking to him, he told me he was a he) changed my profile picture to that of an American soldier. I have no idea why. This left my original account name in limbo and I was able to snatch it back up. At least I could continue under the same name.
If anybody is still interested in seeing what I’m up to – my Instagram is here. During the whole debacle, I started a new account to contact the hacker and I also still have that account – so rather than leave it rot away; I plan to use that one for my street photography and personal work. That account can be found here.
I sincerely hope that nobody was tricked out of their money by this vile hacker. Although it wasn’t my fault – I apologize.