My IG Got Hacked: How I Got It Back & Why It Was A Blessing In Disguise

Before you get heavily invested in my personal story of trauma, there are two things you need to know up front. Yes, I got my IG back and no, Instagram didn’t help me one bit. I’m sure if you’re reading this post, then you’re feeling how I was a few weeks ago; all you’re looking for is a solution to the issue and FAST. After reading over 50 articles of personal hacking stories, I decided I would spare you some time & give you the solution to retrieving your hacked account FIRST, then get into the nitty gritty of how I think I got hacked, what I’ve done since to help protect my account, and the rude awakening behind the lesson I’ve learned from this. You’ve been through enough, I totally feel you friend.


As I mentioned right away, Instagram Support didn’t give a sh*t about my hacked account. Basically, the system is run by what they call “sophisticated bots” that send you into a cycle of psycho. Although some people found success in retrieving his/her hacked accounts, based on my reading, I did not find such luck trying to get mine back. But nonetheless, I did try this method first before taking drastic measures.


If you’ve been hacked, then you got a notification via email that your IG handle/associated login email has been changed (by the hacker) – I’ll tell you right now that clicking the link that says “I didn’t do this” does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING; you’ll only be sent to an error page or redirected to the IG login dashboard on your computer. So make sure you change every single password you have to any account that has a similar password to the IG account that was hacked!

^For the record, I have since changed my associated IG email to a newly created one completely different than the one shown above.


Email, Website, Paypal, Bank Account

Make sure each password is different than each other, create a note on your phone (with a discrete name – DON’T call it “Passwords..”) or a word doc on your computer to keep track of them all.

Immediately after I was hacked, I changed my email password because it was exactly the same as my IG account login. I also made sure to activate Two-Step Verification to my Gmail accounts so I could further protect them from suspicious login attempts. About 2 minutes after changing my passwords, I got an email alert from Gmail that notified me that someone tried to login to my account from an unfamiliar device. So at least I beat that asshole to the punch & probably spared myself with more detrimental consequences.


Chances are the hacker changed your associated email and password, so you can’t send yourself a link to change the password via email at this point. So here’s what you do: on the app login page of IG account that was hacked, click “Forgot Password” and then click “Need More Help” on the following page that pops up (underneath “Send Login Link” button.) You will then be redirected to this form (below) which you can submit to IG Support’s bots indicating your account has been hacked.


You will receive an automatic email from IG Support asking you to prove your identity by sending a selfie of yourself with a handwritten note with a numeric code they ask you to include on the first line, along with your first and last name on the second line, and your hacked IG handle on the third line. Once you send this in, all you can do is wait.

If you’re lucky, then you’ll receive a link that will (apparently) help you get your account back. But if you’re like me, you’ll end up sending your identity TWICE and get THREE retrieval links that DON’T WORK…


I mentioned how IG Support Bots send you into a cycle of chaos, here’s how: I sent the report form and patiently waited for the automatic email response the first time submitting – I never got the email…

I then decided to resubmit the form OVER and OVER again until I got an email; yes, it was tedious AF to do but after about 8 submissions I FINALLY got two email responses, back to back. The first one included the steps to take to submit proof of identity; the second one told me my IG account has been permanently deleted and they can no longer help me – LOL TALK ABOUT MISLEADING!

For the record, my IG account wasn’t deleted & I’m glad I didn’t take that message seriously. So if you’re faced with that unfortunate response from IG Support, just be sure to resubmit another form. But in all honesty, if it didn’t work for you the first time – it won’t work at all.

So what should you do next..?


The good news is that almost everyone as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection to someone who works at either FB or IG. Their employees have the power to get hacking situations into the proper hands of REAL people who can help. Also, any internal report they send gets PRIORITY. So in my case, once I was put in contact with a friend of a friend at IG/FB, I was able to get my account back within 6 hours after giving my connection the details of my situation.

*Please note: I do not have the personal contact of this person who helped me & as of 2019, no longer works at IG/FB. I’m so sorry I can’t provide such information.

If you don’t know someone personally at FB/IG…


What ultimately got me connected to a live human at FB was when someone in my Connections on LinkedIn forwarded my message to a friend of a friend who worked at FB Corporate. If I didn’t publish my cry for help (3x a day for 2 days FYI), then there’s a chance my message wouldn’t have been seen by this person, and subsequently passed along in the right direction to someone who could help. If I didn’t post more than one plead for help, I wouldn’t have gotten my account back at all. This method of desperate repetition SAVED my account and consequently my career… I’m also forever indebted to the efforts of those I’m connected to on LinkedIn who forwarded/re-shared my message(s).

If all else fails, contact Juan

Out of the 50 articles I’ve read (this one in particular), I saw several bloggers who got hacked mention this guy named Juan who miraculously helped them get their accounts back. I was skeptical but also desperate, so I did in fact contact him before finding my IG/FB connection. Although I didn’t end up needing his help, I can assure you he’s legit and verified to assist you. I reached out to him via DM (on my personal IG account lol) and he responded almost immediately with his WhatsApp # to further discuss the issue. Because he’s been in recent demand for hacking help, he charges $ for assistance but is very negotiable with what you can pay now/later.

*His IG account is temporarily (purposefully) disabled, but you can reach out to him on his website here.


I’m almost certain there are two reasons for why my IG got hacked:

1. I accidentally clicked on an phishing link that was embedded in the text of an email.

Hackers are very clever, so much so that they can get you as easily as 1, 2, click when presenting you with something that would normally grab your attention (i.e. a brand collaboration pitch.) I’m normally VERY aware of sketchy emails and immediately delete them the minute I see it’s opening line reads, “Hello @tobebright.”

But in this circumstance, the language in this email was relatively normal. I should also mention I was on the ferry during the time I checked this particular email, which means my attention wasn’t entirely on reading it thoroughly ~ aka I clicked on the embedded link in the text that said “See our Instagram..” I was redirected to an Instagram brand page, BUT it was a different brand the PR rep in the email claimed to be from…RED FLAG.

FYI: It’s ILLEGAL to embed harmful links within the copy of an email. I’ve since submitted the suspect email to authorities.


If the language is misspelled or sounds off, IGNORE & DELETE!

If there’s a link embedded in the text OR if the direct link is visible but includes random symbols/numbers in the URL address (i.e., DON’T CLICK!

It’s better & safer to search for the brand yourself in a separate search tab (website / IG) than to click any of the links that draw suspicion.

2. I didn’t have Two-Factor Authentication enabled on my IG Account.

Looking back, this was so dumb of me not to have..what the hell was I thinking!? Although it doesn’t protect you from hackers 100%, it would’ve probably made it less easy for them to do if it was enabled. What this essentially does is send you a text verification code each time your IG account is attempted to be logged into. This ensures that it’s in fact YOU logging in, and not a suspicious person from a different device you didn’t authorize. I also enabled IG’s 2nd suggested authentication option (Google Authenticator) as a backup, because I’m not taking any chances these days. It was free to download and very easy to set up.

How to enable Two-Factor Authentication on Instagram

Settings > Security > Two-Factor Authentication

So now I’ll open up the discussion of how this situation, although terrible and traumatic, was a real eye opener & somewhat of a blessing in disguise.

At the end of the day, you never know who’s connected to who & you’d be surprised how many people are willing to help out when they see you’re in need of digital help – probably because it’s something a lot of us can mutually understand and feel for, knowing how awful it would be in the position of a victim to Hackers without needing to be hacked in order to understand its terror. In this circumstance, it’s a weird moment of gratitude: you’re grateful to know people have your back & want to help, but at the same time dealing with a devilishly rude awakening when you realize how much you relied on your social media & how awful the feeling is when you no longer have it. And in some instances, you recognize how much you relied on it FOR YOUR JOB. At the time, I was guilty of this 100% & knew I needed to change my strategy if I intended to keep my career going, with or without Instagram…

I’m sure you’re wondering how the hell I could say this was a blessing of any sort, but it truly was in respect to how I intend to run my business going forward. It was very foolish of me to 1) not expect this kind of thing to happen, until it did.. and 2) not to have any sort of security set up to prevent it from such. There’s no doubt in my mind this was meant to happen to me, as some sort of rude awakening to the potential damage that could happen if I don’t properly manage my business’s security. This also shed some light on the harsh reality that I heavily rely on Instagram as my #1 source of income – again, a very foolish thing to do.

The reality is that Instagram can disappear tomorrow, and everything along with it. We don’t own our Instagram accounts, so we have very limited control in the event they disappear for good. That’s why it’s SO IMPORTANT to focus on other platforms equally when growing & monetizing a business (i.e. Pinterest, email list, an actual website etc.) Should one platform fall out of favor, the others can maintain your business credibility.

Needless to say, I learned a very valuable lesson in prioritizing my business’s security & strengthening all its branches of growth simultaneously. I pray that this situation never happens to you but if it does, I hope this post will 1) help you get it back, and 2) inform you on how to better protect your business in the future.


  • Reply Mariah September 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Oh my gosh! This is terrifying! I can’t believe they didn’t help you more. Thanks for all the information.

  • Reply Maureen September 4, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    First of all, thank you for sharing this. Secondly, I am glad to hear you got your account back and lastly, wow, what a thing to go through! This is truly an eye opener and we cannot be too vigilant. I’ll definitely share this with fellow bloggers and other friends.

    Maureen |

  • Reply Gabrielle September 4, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you for this! Fantastic information and you’re a dear for sharing it. I am just so sorry you had to learn it from painful experience.

  • Reply Cristina September 4, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    I am bookmarking this post in case it ever happens to me. Thanks so much for sharing every detail 🙂

  • Reply Elise September 5, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Oh my goodness, what a nightmare! Saving this for future reference. This was very informative and helpful, so glad you got it all straightened out!

    xx, Elise

  • Reply Jacquelyn Brooks September 5, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Oh goodness! Something very similar happened to me last fall. After countless attempts to contact Instagram, I was basically harassing them. Because my Insta serves as my person and business account, I kept ticking the option of a private account, because there were personal photos of my face on the profile. Mistake #1. I’ve come to the conclusion that Instagram doesn’t care as much about personal accounts as they do BUSINESS accounts.

    My account, at the time, was listed as a business account. I submitted a form that my business account was hacked, and it was resolved within 12 hours.

    Jacqie @

  • Reply Michelle September 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Very interesting and thorough article! I have not yet been hacked. I will add the two step verification!

  • Reply Natasha A Waterman September 6, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • Reply Shelbee on the Edge September 9, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Tilden, I am so sorry this happened to you. How frustrating! I had my entire website hacked two years ago and it was very scary. It is so great that we can share these experiences to help other bloggers prevent this from happening and also to provide valuable resources if it does happen. This post is very much appreciated and will be featured on tomorrow’s #SpreadTheKindness Link Up.


  • Reply Opal May 30, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Very informative article and I plan to change my passwords across all platforms now. Although I am always super careful about clicking links in emails I’m not expecting to receive I too have been tricked before.

  • Reply Jessie October 27, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    I’m desperate! My IG got hacked a few weeks ago and IG/FB help center is worthless 😥
    Could you please help me get in contact with Juan?
    I’m not getting a response on WhatsApp

    • Reply Tilden November 2, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Jessie! So sorry for the delayed response – have you had any luck getting in touch with Juan since posting here? xx

  • Reply Mohamed January 26, 2021 at 5:54 am

    Hi jessie! I am facing the same problem! business account hacked and insta ppl support is crap! don’t know what to do or who to talk to. tried your guy juan on insanity and whatsapp but no replies! real shit situation! hope it gets resolved soon!

  • Reply melani January 27, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Jessie! My IG got hacked and I am being blackmailed!
    My username has been changed, so I have no way to submit the report form.
    juan325 account does not exist anymore
    I don’t know anyone at FB/IG who can help me, what can I do?

    • Reply Alexandra Wolf January 29, 2021 at 4:49 am

      Melani, I have the same exact problem! My Instagram
      account got hacked two days ago, they’ve changed my password, username, made the profile private and there’s no way for me to recover it. Facebook/insta have not helped in any way and I cannot access the need more help button nor can I fill out any form. If you happen to find a way out please email me at
      Many thanks in advance and good luck!!

    • Reply Reestina Tecle February 19, 2021 at 11:55 am
      This is Juan’s website :))

  • Reply Roxane February 18, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Omg my BRAND acct. Just got hacked and I cant find juanr325 on WhatsApp can someone please help me! I had a great, successful account. Please! I need help

  • Reply valerie max February 18, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    My BRAND account also just got hacked. Where can we find Juan?

  • Reply Ambra Marcucci February 27, 2021 at 1:47 pm


    It’s the SECOND time my account has been deactivated for strange reasons!

    First, @ambramarcucci has been deactivated two months ago. Until today I’m trying everything possible to get that account back.

    In the meantime I started a new account @ambramarcucci1 because Instagram is important for my career as an athlete. And now AGAIN it got deactivated and I just don’t understand why. What is going on?!

    I need to find Juan just like the other ladies!

  • Reply Reestina Tecle March 2, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Is he legitimate? His page seems sketchy

    • Reply Tilden March 3, 2021 at 11:39 am

      It’s spam – she’s commented the same thing on multiple comments. I’ve marked it as “unapproved” so she shouldn’t be commenting anymore :]

  • Reply Wendi Epps March 23, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I accidentally got my work’s Business account disabled by changing they birth year. I just emailed Juan so hopefully that works! Although I’m guessing I won’t be an employee here after this huge blunder. I’ve never felt so disappointed in myself.

  • Reply Diyonka Massey June 3, 2021 at 4:11 am

    Omg this just happened to me like 2 days ago so hopefully Juan responds to me. Very informative article so thank you!

  • Reply Jialene Pena September 10, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Hello! so I am facing this struggle right now my personal account got hacked, the hackers took off my email address and my phone number so that I wouldn’t have an access to my account. I have filled out the form in help center on the instagram page and I have not heard back at all, I’m just worried because they are posting a lot of stuff pretending to be me, I just really want to recover this because I also have pictures of my 2 little ones on there. If there is anyone else I can reach out to for help I would really appreciate it thank you!.

  • Reply Adriana Marques September 27, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Has Juan successfully helped anyone? I finally got Instagram to send me a code last night to take a picture with and they haven’t responded yet and my account was reactivated and deleted in the process

  • Reply Chloe September 28, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Hi there!

    It’s been a month of no response from IG/FB and they are unable to help me because it is a personal account and they are unable to help me. The 2 factor authentication is still turned on for my account and I am in need of it being turned off. Juanr325 was not able to help me because it is a system error? If anyone has any connects PLEASE SEND them to me! I would greatly appreciate it.

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