”It never happens to me, it only happens to others.” That’s probably the one and only thought that got me into this mess. Last night my IG worked perfectly fine, but this morning when I wanted to scroll through it before thoroughly waking up, I was logged out. My password didn’t work and when I wanted to recover it, a notification box told me an email with password reset instructions had been sent to “k*******k@m****.ru”. Definitely not my email. So I decided to get it back.
There is a support site on Instagram’s webpage where you can tell them that your account has been hacked. Shortly after I sent the report in, I got an email from Facebook telling me what to do in order to verify my account.
The purpose of this post is to help others in the same situation, because I was very skeptical to Instagram’s way of verification.
Thanks for contacting us. Before we can help, we need you to confirm that you own this account.
Please reply to this email and attach a photo of yourself holding a hand-written copy of the code below.
Please make sure that the photo you send:
– Includes the above code hand-written on a clean sheet of paper, followed by your full name and username
– Includes both your hand that’s holding the sheet of paper and your entire face
– Is well-lit, and is not too small, dark or blurry
– Is attached to your reply as a JPEG file
Keep in mind that even if this account doesn’t include any pictures of you or is used to represent someone or something else, we won’t be able to help until we receive a photo that meets these requirements.
The Instagram Team
Very suspicious, right? The email address it was sent from, did not look like something official and I was not convinced that this was the real deal. But after some investigation, I changed my mind and did take that awful selfie with the clean sheet of paper with the code and my name and my username with my hand clearly visibly holding the piece of paper.
Only three hours later I received a response to my picture, from the exact same email asking me to give a brief description of my issue, write my email or phone number that I signed up with and any previous usernames I have had.
Only ten hours later I received another response, same weird email address, asking me to log out of my account everywhere and then click a link to recover my account. First, it only asked me to type in a new password twice. The next step asked me to verify my email address. And the email address that was in the box was “firstname.lastname@example.org”, definitely not mine. After erasing it and writing my own email address, I once again had access to my 350 or so posts and 300 followers. Why would anyone even want to steal that account? I was honestly very afraid that my account would be deleted and everything permanently lost. So I am incredibly glad that I got it back. And I got it back real fast too!
So, for anyone who gets the same verification email from Facebook (which owns Instagram) asking for a selfie, do it! It’s legit. 🙂