As Instagram continues to take over the world, it’s become a prime target for hackers. Therefore, it’s not surprising that more and more people are reporting that their Instagram account is hacked. Assuming this happened to you, and you’re telling the truth and weren’t violating Instagram’s terms of services or using bots, the only path to recovering the hacked account (or deleted account) is to contact Instagram via the mobile app. I’ll provide the step-by-step instructions further below, but first let’s discuss what happens when an Instagram account is hacked.
What Hackers Do After Accessing Your Hacked Account
Typically, when a hacker gains entry to your Instagram account, they’ll perform one or more of the following actions:
- Change the email address – firstly, the hacker will want to ensure you cannot regain access to your own account . To do this, they’ll first change your email address. Watch out for emails from Instagram if the email on record is changed.
- Change your password – when this happens, Instagram sends an email confirmation. Look out for it and act immediately. There is a link at the bottom of such emails to reset the password if it was not authorized by you.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) – to prevent you from recovering your hacked account, hackers will enable two-factor authentication so that all requests for logins and password resets go directly to them.
- Change your username – Hackers will typically change your username so that you cannot track down the account and prevent attempts to report it. If you don’t know the new username or handle, it becomes more difficult to report to Instagram. Therefore, it’s important to check whether or not your username has been changed, and keep doing so that you know if / when it changes. Have your trusted friends or followers pay attention as well so you can follow the trail of username changes.
- Delete your account – For some reason, hackers get a kick out of deleting your Instagram account. Don’t ask why – the world has such people. If this happens, at least the hacker is not impersonating you 😛
How to Submit a Ticket to Instagram?
See Instagram’s Help Docs specifically for the topic:
“I think my Instagram account has been hacked.”
Instagram Help Center
Following their instructions, you’ll be able to submit a support ticket. Since Instagram team is difficult to get a hold of, you’ll want to provide all the information necessary to avoid back/forth. You should include the following:
- Full Name
- Email Address (submit your ticket using the exact email used when creating the account)
- Phone Number – If you had entered a phone number associated with your account, provide that as well as the type of device you had (iPhone / Android / iPad / etc.)
- Identify when exactly you think the account was hacked or deleted
- If you know it, the exact date you created your Instagram account; Check your email archives for the confirmation email that IG sends when creating an account.
- The location from where you typically login to IG
- The IP address from where you typically login into IG
Even though Instagram doesn’t ask for all this information, I highly recommend you provide it to ensure there’s sufficient data for them to verify you’re the owner, and make a determination in your favor without any additional follow up required.
The support team takes hacked accounts seriously, so if the account truly has the signs of being hacked, they’ll provide adequate support and restore the account. However, if you were misbehaving on Instagram, or using tactics that violate Instagram’s terms of services, then it’s possible your account was NOT hacked, but was instead suspended or deleted BY Instagram. In this case, don’t expect a response nor any chance of recovering the account – it’ GONE and rightfully so!
Instructions to Recover Hacked Account
Depending on your device, follow these steps:
On iOS (iPhone):
1. On the login screen, tap Forgot password?.
2. Tap Need more help? below Send Login Link, then follow the on-screen instructions.
- Be sure to enter a secure email address that only you can access. Once you’ve submitted your request, be on the lookout for an email from Instagram with next steps.
3. Follow the instructions Instagram provides.
- On the login screen, tap Get help signing in below Log In.
- Enter your username, email, or phone number, then tap Next. Learn more about what you can do if you don’t know your username.
- Tap Need more help? then follow the on-screen instructions.
Be sure to enter a secure email address that only you can access. Once you’ve submitted your request, be on the lookout for an email from Instagram with next steps.
Verify Your Identity
Once you submit your request, you should receive an auto-response email from the Security Team at Instagram asking you to help verify your identity. You’ll be asked for one or both of the following:
- A photo of yourself holding a paper with a handwritten code Instagram provides you.
- The email address or phone number you signed up with and the type of device you used at the time of sign up (example: iPhone, Android, iPad, other).
Once you provide information to help them verify your identity, they’ll send you specific instructions to recover your account at the secure email address you provided. Follow the instructions!
Wait Patiently and Cross Your Fingers
After you’ve completed the process above, you’ll be waiting. Instagram support is not quick and sometimes responses may take a few days to as long as 2 weeks. Be patient as Instagram has a billion users, and people love to complain and avoid having to read instructions or help documents so they receive many thousands of tickets daily. It’s tough to reply to everyone without imposing some automated rules on who is telling the truth, who is wasting their time, and who deserves further investigation.
That’s it! Good luck with recovering your hacked account. Let us know in the comments if you succeeded or failed?