Yesterday, I received the following email about my Instagram account
At first, I laughed but thought I would check my Instagram account anyway.
And it was gone.
No username, no email, no phone number.
According to Instagram the more than 2,900 posts I have created never existed in the first place. I tried everything Instagram help center articles told me to do, consistently getting absolutely nowhere. When Instagram says you don’t exist there are no reports to file, no forms to fill in, no support to receive. They just keep referring you to the same article over and over.
So I emailed the hacker back.
They wanted $2,000 in bitcoin to release my account back or they are selling it to others to use however they see fit. No guarantees. That kind of money is not something we have to spend. So I cried while I raged, I know it is so silly to cry over something like this, but my account hold years of photos and videos, connections with people all over the world, and represents years of building connections with others. Since we moved to Denmark it has been one of my main ways to stay in touch with friends, former students, and all of those we left behind.
Instagram has been my favorite way to post the last many months as I transition into Denmark and make literary connections here. The people in Denmark have no idea wo I am, Instagram and all the years of posts helped me introduce myself.
I spent the rest of the day frantically securing every account I could think of while getting bombarded by bots saying they could help me recover my account – they can’t, they are just another way to scam you.
Meanwhile, 40 emails in as I went back and forth with the person who hacked my account, they said I could pay $200 in bitcoin to recover it. After discussing with my husband, I did.
And then I got this.
And that’s not something we can do. So I am starting over. All those years of posts are gone but I am still here. I can’t recreate all of the content, I will re-post some things, but I have to look forward as well.
So please come and follow me on my new account @pernilleripp I know there isn’t much to look at right now, but there will be. I will continue to post book recommendations, ideas, quotes, and snapshots from our life. I continue to want to learn and spread ideas. I am really hoping there is some sort of silver lining in all of this, I haven’t found it yet, but I will.
If you haven’t secured your accounts with two-factor authentication, do. It doesn’t guarantee anything but perhaps it would have stopped this.
If you want to help me, please share my new Instagram account with those who used to follow or may want to follow now.