Facebook won’t help you get your hacked account back

They have zero incentive to stop account hackers

Pete Lead


I don’t understand this Photo by Emin BAYCAN on Unsplash

On 18 May my partner’s Instagram account was hacked. It was a sneaky attack. They used a hacked account which was familiar to my partner, and asked for help getting an access code from Instagram. This access code ended up being the 2-factor authentication code Instagram sends when you forget your password.

With 6 digits shared over DM the account was gone. The hackers used the code to log into my partner’s account, then changed the password and email address.

“I was trying to set up my account on my phone and Instagram asked me to find someone to help me receive a link, Instagram have me suggestions from two friends and you are one of them, the other person is not online . Would you help me to receive the link please 🙏?”

Honestly, the story that Instagram was helping someone access their own account is the least believable part of this message.

Instagram sent an email notifying the change of email address, and if this was not legit then “click here to report it”. The “click here” goes to a generic help page. The help page asks you to contact them. The reply is to fill in a form. The form goes into the pit of hell and dies there. 💀

There are a bunch of ways InstaMetaFace could stop this happening or make it easier to get your account back. But they don’t want to. Not matter what happens next Meta wins. Here’s why.

1. Your account is still active because the hackers are using it = Meta wins (the hackers win, you lose)

Your account was hacked because the hackers wanted to use it. As well as DMing a bunch of your followers (so they can hack their accounts or use phishing attacks to access other platforms — hugely embarrassing to you, personally, no doubt) they are most likely using your account as a drone in a botfarm.

Your account will still be clicking on ads, liking posts, and maybe even posting things you’ll be embarrassed by — e.g. about super awesome legitimate crypto deals. And because your account is “legit” — anyone looking at it would see it was created a long time ago, has lots of followers — it’s not going to get flagged as a bot or dodgy account.



Pete Lead

I work with startups, teach entrepreneurship, and freelance in improv and leadership coaching.