‘I don’t like dealing with criminals’: Unable to close or recover their hacked accounts

Users affected by hackers who took over their Instagram and TikTok accounts are decrying the inaction of the internet giants for allowing fraudsters to hijack their identities.

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With 241,000 TikTok subscribers, Patrice Lavoie has gained great visibility on the Chinese stage with videos she made with her mother to raise awareness of her LGTBQ+ reality and Alzheimer’s disease. Hackers took over his account and disconnected him from his subscribers.

“It feels like flying. Especially for a sentimental reason, I want to recover my account for videos with my mother”, laments Patrice.

Les Chefs! For show chef Fanny Lehouiller, her Instagram was hacked to serve as a promotional tool for her home cooking service. In his case, the fraudsters are from Nigeria, based on the account’s new location, and are now using it to promote cryptocurrency purchases.

Fanny Lehouiller had her Instagram account hacked.  Fraudsters are now using his account to promote cryptocurrency and inflate profits.

Photo taken from Fanny Lehouiller’s Instagram account

Fanny Lehouiller had her Instagram account hacked. Fraudsters are now using his account to promote cryptocurrency and inflate profits.

“It’s stressful. There may be people who have it, there may be people who believe it,” she worries. Ms. Lehouiller opened a new Instagram account, but the scammers went so far as to take photos she shared to repost on the spoofed page.

Patrice Lavoie was joined on other sites by a hacker who demanded money in exchange for his 240,000 subscribers. “I don’t want to negotiate with criminals”, explains the complainant to the Sûreté du Québec of fraud and extortion after trying to restore his page.

No comments from sites

What the two victims regret is the lack of reaction from the platforms. Days pass and accounts remain active despite their repeated requests. “It takes three days to get an automated response,” says Patrice Lavoie.

“Writing on Instagram is not easy. There wasn’t much to do, you couldn’t even talk to someone,” laments the chef. Faced with the impasse, Patrice Lavoie specifically regrets not opting for two-factor authentication to prevent his account from being hacked, but urges users not to make the same mistake.

That’s the advice given by Patrick Boucher, an IT security expert who relies on good IT security hygiene. “It’s like a fire, and then nothing can be done. The only thing we can do is prevent,” he says.

However, he laments that Internet companies are not putting in place enough ways to avoid scams like Twitter, which takes cuts when users have to pay for two-factor verification. “It’s very counterintuitive,” Mr. Mourns Boucher.

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