Livelihood Stolen: Hackers attack San Diego Instagram influencer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Livelihood Stolen: Hackers attack San Diego Instagram influencer

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A San Diegan lost her livelihood after her Instagram account was held hostage.

Maria Von Losch said she did not give in when she was threatened by hackers, but she is now in search of her followers.

Maria is not alone. Other Instagram bloggers have reported their accounts being deleted – which means their livelihood is gone as well. In Maria’s case, the attack cost her big bucks in lost business - almost $1,500.

Maria’s Instagram account is @SAVVYNISTA. Over five years she accumulated over 109,000 followers. Brands like Clarins and Burberry paid her to post and blog on Instagram about their products.

Maria said she received an email form pumpam@protonmail.com which stated her Instagram account had been hacked. She had three hours to reply or all of her posts and followers would be deleted. Maria never responded to the email because she said they would demand money.

When she never responded, her account vanished. Maria contacted Instagram to no avail. “I went through the app. I felt a little helpless.”

Fortunately, one of her contacts at Facebook helped her. Maria was one of the lucky ones. A few of her blogger friends were also hacked recently. They paid hundreds of dollars and still lost their accounts. “Bloggers and influencers work so hard to build a following,” said Maria.

Maria said Instagram’s customer service was of no help, but to prevent from being hacked she recommends Instagram users to turn on their two-factor authentication to make their accounts more secure.

Two-factor authentication is also available for other social media apps.

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