by Flip Flop Wanderers

UPDATE 27-Dec-2018: We have our Instagram back! It was hard, and we didn’t get help from Instagram at all, like many others. We updated this whole blog with new insights, better tips, and information on how you can get your Instagram account back!

We were devastated. We had an Instagram account with 52K followers. Yes, you read that right: HAD. The most unreal thing, every influencer’s worst nightmare, came true for us: we got hacked on Instagram and lost all our 52K followers. ALL of it. In this blog post, we’ll share the whole story of what happened and how you can avoid getting scammed. Make sure to follow us on our original Instagram account to support us and to stay updated with the whole story: @flipflopwanderers

It looks like an easy lifestyle, traveling the world, staying in luxurious hotels, collaborating with big brands, yup, being an Instagram influencer is the dream job! Behind all these photos goes a lot of work though: hours of making photos, editing, searching for the best spots, and engaging on Instagram. But all of this is so worth it, and we were certainly enjoying our new digital nomad lifestyle. Until we received this email, on Christmas Eve for heaven’s sake:


Your Instagram page was blocked. For unlocking accoun, send message to our e-mail. We will waiting for an answer 3 hours. 

If you don’t write to us, your account will be cleared from all photos and we sell it, or account will be deleted.

Sorry for our moves.

First response: this must be a joke or a phishing email. Then we saw an official Instagram email that our email address had been changed. It said: click here to change it back. That wasn’t working. We started to realize that we were being hacked on Instagram, and our worst nightmare became a reality.

This is our last screenshot, taken 6 days before the hack when we were about to reach 50K followers

What Happened?

How could this have happened? How can we be hacked on Instagram? We are always so secure and careful. Did they crack our password? We are starting to panic, this is real. We just hit 50K followers on Instagram and were celebrating it just a few days ago with a lot of support from our community. We love our community and you can say that Instagram is a huge part of our lives. Our Instagram account is a reflection of 2 years of super hard work, day and night, and it surely can’t all be gone now?? Just in a split second?

We try everything to get back access. What phone were we registered with? We are trying all our phone numbers, nothing works. Contact Instagram, anything that could work. Time is ticking, an hour has gone and we have two hours left. Instagram sends an email to the new (changed by the hackers) email address, f*&king idiots! We receive a new email from the hackers: you have one hour left! We are searching for help everywhere we can, nothing works. It seems that the hackers have changed our email address, phone number, username AND blocked our account. We only have one option left: paying them.

Everything in our gut says: Do not pay them, you will lose your money and they ask for more or stop replying. But should we let 2 years of hard work just vanish? No, we have to try it. We replied. They asked for $215 dollars in bitcoins. We are trying to get this transferred but we are so nervous that we might lose everything. Eventually paying worked. We sent the confirmation and they tell us: 15 minutes. Those 15 minutes are the longest of our lives. We keep refreshing every 10 seconds. No email. We contact them. We don’t hear anything for an hour, and we are afraid they broke all contact and let us hang in there. It is Christmas Eve, is there any humanity in them? We are giving it up, but then another email: 5 minutes, recovery. 10 minutes later, still nothing. We keep emailing them. The last email we received was at 11.40 pm (it all started at 6.15 pm on Christmas Eve): Not experience. We’re reinstating the account. need to wait a bit.

And that is the last contact we had with them. Of course, we knew that this would happen! We had been up till 4 am trying to fix it, contacted anyone who could help, and made a new account. It was time to start plan B, in case we would never see it back. We have to inform our community about the worst nightmare and warn them because we don’t wish this to anyone! We barely slept, were flowing over in emotions. How could we be so stupid, we are always careful. They caught us in a moment of weakness. We were busy and quickly clicked an infected link. One minute of having our guard down, and we are screwed!

A doubtful question is: should you pay? Everyone has been taught not to, and so are we. But what if they are really going to delete all our photos? We read only bad stories on blogs, but after we got back in touch with our community we heard also many succeeding stories. People who had the same: they paid and had their account back in 10 minutes! For us, it was our only hope since we would never forgive ourselves if everything got deleted and we didn’t try our best to get it back. We don’t know what happened with the hackers. It looked like they were trying to recover our account, since they got back to us in the end, and maybe they failed… Or they just let us hang in there, we will never know.

How Did We Got Hacked on Instagram

We want to inform you how they worked. Please learn from our mistakes. We receive collab opportunities daily so did we this evening. It was a fashion brand, and Manon checked out the Instagram page which was included: @shopdressup. A big account with over 128k followers. We were interested. We were a bit in a rush since we had so much work to do, and we clicked the link in the email. This one went not to the website that was written, but to a Russian website (which we discovered when it was too late). We normally always check this or google the brand. This time we didn’t and took the bait. The beginning of the end.

This is how the email looked like:

We can’t remember if we had to log into Instagram again after clicking this link, or what happened, but we suppose this was the case. As we said: we were so busy and did it all really quickly so our mind has gone a bit blank. We usually always check if a website is secure, especially when we need to log in. It looked so real, and we feel so stupid. Especially since we know about these kinds of scams. We never click on any phishing email from banks, Paypal, Instagram, or Facebook. We know they use fake links, and we always check if the sender is real. But we failed this time, and we paid the highest price: a hacked account.

Why Instagram Doesn’t Help

So what happened after we lost contact with the hackers? Well, basically we made a new account just to keep our username safe and to start again if we really couldn’t get our account back. After the help we received, we have been advised not to use the same username though, and don’t use the same email you used to create your original account! We also read many other blogs, trying to figure out how we could fix this. Of course, we immediately contacted Instagram, like a thousand times. We got to their help center which absolutely does nothing but then found out about a sort of backend contact form of Instagram. We filled out all of this information and got an automated email back from Instagram in which they asked for more information:

We replied with all the needed information but never got anything back after more than 24 hours. The next day, we filled out the backend contact form again but choose another option. This time we got this automated email:

Again, we sent them all the information and took photos of us holding the piece of paper with code. The next day we finally received a reply, with a recovery code! We thought this was it, it would be fixed! Until we realized that this code was for the new account, the account we already had access to! Pff, thanks Instagram. We replied to the email, but Jeremy is not real, Jeremy is a bot, and Jeremy sends us the same recovery link again, and again, and again… After this, we NEVER heard anything back from Instagram. Instagram is known for its really bad support. Can you imagine that it’s only bots, never real people, that are answering emails?! Even when you send your photo with the code, a BOT checks if it’s really you on the photos. Like, what?! We never got a useful reply from Instagram, like many other people. We also had the luck of this happening during Christmas, and nobody works during these days… 

So what now? Well, your guess was as good as ours… We were losing hope. Did we ruin it by making another account with the same name and email address? We received tonnes of tips. We tried to contact employees of Instagram for inside help via LinkedIn, but we got no response. Another thing we tried is contacting Facebook through our Ad Manager because our Facebook Page was linked to our Instagram account. They had a live chat, with real people, but they didn’t want to help us and couldn’t get us in touch with the right person.

Basically, we were screwed because Instagram doesn’t help in any way at all! Let’s try to pressure them to upgrade their wanky safety protocols and support! You’re a billion-dollar company, work for your money! We heard many other people that lost their (huge) accounts because of the bad support. Luckily, we HAVE OUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT BACK NOW, and we will tell you below how we got it back exactly so that YOU will be able to get it back too! But first, and more important: Prevention!

How Can You Prevent Getting Hacked on Instagram

If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger, and hopefully you guys as well… The only positive we can get out of this is making everybody aware of how you can prevent such things! What can you do to prevent getting hacked on Instagram?

Secure all your accounts thoroughly and DO IT NOW!

  • Make sure that you turn on ‘Two-factor authentication’ in your Instagram account.
  • Make sure your password contains letters, capitals, numbers, and signs AaBbCc1234@&! to make it hackers as hard as possible to crack. 
  • Download the Authenticator App. This app creates random codes for the two-factor authentication and can be used on many other websites and apps besides Instagram!

Be aware of URLs, links, and dodgy emails

  • First of all, always check email addresses for odd things, like a little typo. Think about an email like blabla@imstagram.com or such.
  • Next to that, NEVER CLICK LINKS in an email, but search the account in google, retype the link, or hover over the link to see if where it is actually linked to! 
  • The link should refer to an URL starting with HTTPS:// The S means that it is safe, it has SSL, and there will be a green lock in front of the URL in the browser. 
  • Sometimes they add a lot of words in the subdomain. For example, www.support.facebook.com refers to a Facebook website from Facebook, but www.facebook.support.finance.hank.com refers to a website from ‘Hank’. This last one is probably dodgy! So be careful with the links, don’t click it if it is not from someone you don’t know, or better: never click links! 

We and almost everyone receive dodgy emails on a daily basis. Check the sender! Payment agencies like banks NEVER use links but tell you to go to your account on their website. Common phishing emails are telling you that you paid X amount of money on this website and ask you to check it if it was you. DO NOT CLICK THE LINK. Check thoroughly which email was used, check the official website (search it in google, no links!!!), or contact them if it is really them via your account or their website. Usually, this is a scam. Another common example is an email from Apple that your I tunes account was used, even if you use Android. Or from a bank that you don’t use, or Amazon, which is really popular for scammers too.


How You Can Get Your Hacked Instagram Account Back

Firstly, we want to say a big THANK YOU to the most amazing community we have on Instagram! The support of everyone means so much to us. We made a new account to get back in touch and warn everyone and received hundreds of messages after we told what happened. People are so supportive. Many people were sharing our story, sending us the sweetest words to help us through. It’s heartwarming. Some helped us by putting our new handle in their caption, spreading the word to our former followers to get back in touch. 

It was because of all this help that we got in touch with someone who could help us. Without this one particular man, it wouldn’t have been possible to get our account back! You don’t have to do this immediately though. The first thing you should try is getting your account back through Instagram Support. Be aware though: Instagram uses bots to fix things, and if it gets a little complicated those will fail! Also, it can take hours to a couple of days to get in touch with Instagram, which you really don’t want to wait on when you are hacked on Instagram.

What to do when Instagram support fails?

This is not unlikely to happen, their support is worthless. It is impossible to get in contact with a real person. We tried to get in touch with employees via LinkedIn, we tried to get help via Facebooks’ Live Chat, but it’s all useless.

What you need is to have an inside man or someone with backdoor links or contacts. This is the only way if all the rest fails… But how do you find one? Firstly, ask around if you know someone that knows someone that is working for Facebook/Instagram. They can probably help you for FREE.

If you can’t find anyone, you can contact the guy who helped us, Juan. He won’t do it for free though. We were referred by someone from our community to him (@Juanr325__). Read everything below, because first this looked like a scam too but he really helped us, without any problems!

He told us he could help and to do that, he needed access to our email and password. WHAT? Are you kidding me, we just have been hacked, we learned from it. On his Facebook tips he says himself: Never give away your password! He tried to convince us that he can really help, but it is really hard to trust a stranger. He gave us some referrals to blogs that wrote about him, which could be fake too like you might be thinking of this blog if you don’t know us. Hint: it’s not 😉 Then he sent us this YouTube Video. She was real, and she shared the same worries as we had about trust in Juan. Skip to 11 minutes if you don’t have the time to watch the whole video.

Still, we were not completely convinced, so we decided to video call him because we wanted to see this guy his face before we could trust him. He agreed on a video call and explained to us everything that he was going to do, and that we would be with him step by step. We decided to trust him, and he fixed it within one hour!

What did he do?

Firstly, he advises to NEVER create the same username and don’t use the same email that you used to create your account with another account. This could slim your chances of recovery.

Via the emails we had received from Instagram he was able to chase our account. He guided us through the Instagram Support steps again, we did the photo thing again, and pretty quickly after, we received an email from IG that the recovery failed because the account didn’t exist anymore! Juan told us that this is not true! He could see it hidden away, and without his help, Instagram probably would have given up on us at this point. He did some more magic and now we had to wait for a recovery email.

This came already 15 minutes later and a few minutes after that recovery email, we received an email from the hackers as well! With the password and username! What?! After 2 days of no contact! We don’t know how this is possible, but we knew for sure that this was thanks to the work of Juan because he secured our account. And guess what: the login details worked! All of a sudden we were back into our account again! All our photos, comments, stories, followers, everything was still on there. We have never been happier!!

Of course, we changed the passwords immediately, the email, the username, the 2 step verification, and everything. Don’t use the original username! Juan told us some more things to prevent that the hackers get back control again. And yes, these hackers were still trying to get it back! He could see them and our linked phone number was going off continuously with messages from IG with recovery links. This was because of those bastards. Luckily we got professional help because we would never have achieved all of this without it!

How to Get in Contact With Juan

Juan really was our savior and he might be able to help you too if you have been hacked on Instagram. Unfortunately, his Instagram account got disabled because hackers don’t really like what he does… You can try to reach out to him via his temporary Instagram account but he also created his own website where you can find more information and his contact details.

So it has been some really rough days, we barely slept, but in the end, we got our account back! Thanks to the support of an amazing community, that stood up as one to help us, and get us in touch with the right person. We are THANKFUL.

Please share this blog to warn the world for these bastards. There is no sign of respect ruining someone’s lifework like this, not even during Christmas! We learned from it, and we want you to learn from this, and everybody else!

Oh and lastly, please leave a comment below this blog post. We want to know if this has happened to you as well and if you have any other tips that helped you. Please reach out if you have any questions. We were blessed by all the support we got, and we love to support other people whose hard work got stolen from them.

Check out our account and give a follow if you like what you see! @flipflopwanderers.

Check out all our blogs here!


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Robin Mayfair December 26, 2018 - 4:09 am

Chin up guys, I’m sure you will get it back. If not, the community will help to rebuild. Never give up, we support you. Merry Christmas! ?

Flip Flop Wanderers December 27, 2018 - 5:43 pm

We are happy we didn’t give up because we got our account back! And all thanks to this amazing community on Instagram ?? Thanks for supporting us!

Kelly en Nanet December 26, 2018 - 5:37 pm

Jeetje lieverds wat is dit vreselijk zeg jullie werken er zo hard voor…. Jullie verdienen snel weer die vele volgers terug! Wij gaan dit zeker delen en wat we kunnen doen, gaan we doen voor jullie.

Flip Flop Wanderers December 27, 2018 - 6:34 pm

Super bedankt voor jullie steun dames! Maar we hebben goed nieuws: we hebben onze account weer terug! Jeeej, het was zo veel moeite maar we hebben m! We hebben deze blog ook geupdate dus kun je lezen hoe het precies is gegaan 😉

Tammy December 26, 2018 - 9:24 pm

I’m so glad you where able to trust him and get your account back! Juan was a lifesaver when he recovered my Instagram account. It was 4 days for me before someone noticed my account was missing and reached out to me through my blog to give me his info. My hacker experience was exactly the same as yours, bitcoin paid and all. Instagram is zero help and I had lost hope until my instafriend @kristin_reveles reaches out to me. So happy he was able to help you as well!

xx Tammy

Flip Flop Wanderers December 27, 2018 - 6:44 pm

Thank you very much for your experience Tammy! You experience and others convinced us to trust Juan. We are so happy we did, because otherwise we would never have been able to get our account back!

Janna Brown March 23, 2019 - 2:36 am

I googled the wording from the hacker email I received, and it brought me to your post. I just got my second email saying I had one hour left. I’ve tried messaging Juan on instagram, but hoping you might be able to provide me with a direct contact to him. My business account was my livelihood and my portfolio for work as an international florist and stylist. I would be forever indebted for any contact information! Thank you!!

Flip Flop Wanderers April 6, 2019 - 11:59 pm

Hi Janna, we spoke already on Instagram and we are so happy that you weren’t really hacked but that it was just the glitch from Instagram! But still, it’s terrifying when you think that you are hacked! Luckily you still have your account 🙂

Maya Bunschoten December 27, 2018 - 10:55 pm

Fijn dat jullie iemand hebben gevonden, die kon helpen! En goed om te weten wat er mogelijk is. Bedankt!

Flip Flop Wanderers January 2, 2019 - 10:03 pm

Ja wij zijn ook erg blij dat het allemaal opgelost is! Zo blij dat iemand ons kon helpen!

Jm March 17, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Hi guys !!!!
Thanks to this article I got in contact with Juan last night Almost 200k and my insta got hacked yesterday. Exactly same story as yours. Exactly same “ Collab email “. I paid $400 and hacker still not answering. Still waiting for Juan to do his magic. I hope it works. He’s super nice !! I’m so so upset all my traveling , fashion , model , wife and mum things seems gone at the moment. I truly hope i have a successful story like you.

Flip Flop Wanderers April 6, 2019 - 11:57 pm

Hi JM, for some reason we missed this comment, so sorry! Ohh no, that’s terrible that you had the same experience! We are happy we could help you get in contact with Juan due to this article! How is it going now? Did he managed to get your account back? I can imagine that you are super upset, it is so terrible when all your hard work is gone! We truly hope that you have your account back by now!

Hannah May 22, 2019 - 7:30 am


I am really hoping that I can get in touch with Juan. Do you know if he only works with influencers? I am not famous by any means but my instagram has years of memories. I contacted him but have not heard back. Do you know how long it typically takes for him to respond? Thank you so much.

grow your instagram following June 15, 2019 - 2:42 am

Social networking sifes like Facebook has generated a majjor place inn the internet market.
Always keedp google optimization at heart that people have to get.
These include: removing out of your profile, removing the tag itself, messaging the photo owner or tagger,
and requesting this article get taken down.

4 Incidents When Social Media Influencers Had their Accounts Hacked | WebCelebs August 26, 2019 - 3:50 pm

[…] work, day and night, and it surely can’t all be gone now? Just in a split second?” the couple wrote in their […]

Chelsea November 22, 2019 - 3:46 am

Just a cybersecurity expert’s added security tips from experience: when you use 2FA make sure you use a third party app like Duo, Authy or Last Pass. This adds additional security to your account over their coded email since hackers can steal and spoof that code as well. It’s also a good idea to keep any of your Social Media Plugins like Like To Know It, Shopify, Planoly, etc. on separate email and password accounts. This prevents the hackers from taking over other accounts connected to your I nstagram account as well. Glad you were able to get it back!! Hopefully this helps others from getting their accounts stolen in the future.

Flip Flop Wanderers November 22, 2019 - 11:35 am

These are some great tips, thank you Chelsea! I’m sure a lot of readers can use this 🙂 It’s always good to keep your password on separate places to limit the other accounts they can take over. Yeah, we are really happy we could get our account back eventually!

Kim December 5, 2019 - 8:29 am

This is actually really good to know. I am just starting my own blog and Instragram account so this is really helpful, thank you so much!

Flip Flop Wanderers December 5, 2019 - 1:07 pm

No worries at all! We really hope that other people don’t get hacked as well!

Sian January 15, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Hi guys, I am currently going through the same situation. I got a phishing email which I thought was from instagram to verify my account. Being naive I followed through with the link and all of a sudden my instagram was taken off the grid. The hacker then got my number and text me saying he will activate my instagram if i send him $260 USD. I have 16.2K followers and depend on its platform to connect with like minded people and collab with brands. I am absolutely devastated and feel at a loss with what to do. Instagram are taking a while to reply and I have been in touch with Juan – he is quoting 600 USD which if truth be told I don’t even have that amount in my bank account. Is there any other advice you can lend? I feel so down about this!

Flip Flop Wanderers January 17, 2020 - 10:04 pm

Hi Sian,
Sorry to hear this, the mistake is easily made. It’s so terrible that people scam others this way. I’ve heard that Juan asks quite a lot of money, and I totally understand your hesitation. We couldn’t find any other solution, but there might be other white-hackers that are able to help. Or if you can find someone from inside Facebook who can help. Unfortunately, Instagram still doesn’t care about its customers. I’ve heard other people who could do it via someone else, but I don’t know who or how.
Good luck.

Ertugrul Ertuc September 8, 2020 - 8:19 pm

Hi Guys,

Same thins just happened to me last night and I am so devastated. I had over 55k followers with my 3 years of photography and videography work.

I read everything your blog and I am so upset like you guys were.

PLEASE HELP me getting touch with Juan or anyone else that you guys know.

I will be waiting for your response,

Thanks a lot for your time in advance and hope hear back from you soon.
(I sent a DM to your instagram with my presets account)

Flip Flop Wanderers September 9, 2020 - 12:07 am

Hi Ertugrul,
We have already been in contact via Instagram but hopefully you can get your account back very soon!
Really feeling for you, as we know how terrible it is!

My IG Got Hacked: How I Got It Back & Why It Was A Blessing In Disguise | To Be Bright October 14, 2020 - 7:42 pm

[…] 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 […]

salma February 4, 2021 - 6:41 pm

Hello! I got my instagram hacked a couple days ago and have been going crazy. I have all my stories about my baby on my account, my posts, etc. Im desperate, Juan’s @ doesn’t seem to come up did he change it? I’m willing to pay. Or is there anything else anyone recommends? Please let me know.

Flip Flop Wanderers February 21, 2021 - 8:30 pm

Hi Salma,
So sorry to hear that you’re account got hacked. People doing so have no idea what it does to someone.
We sent you an email with more information. We really hope you’ll get it back soon!

Nadia McDonald October 5, 2021 - 3:02 am

PLEASE HELP ME TOO!!! Same thing is happening to me right now.

Gourav May 24, 2021 - 2:00 pm

Somebody has scammed and took my brother’s 56k page 7 days ago, we have been trying to contact juan for 4 days but he is not answering. Please help us out if possible.

Flip Flop Wanderers June 4, 2021 - 7:46 pm

Hi Gourav,
So sorry to hear that your brothers account got hacked! Juans Instagram account got disabled so you can reach him through his website: http://www.juanr325.com
Hope you’ll be able to get it back!

123 November 4, 2021 - 6:57 pm

Hello! Is Juan a trust worthy? Our business account got hacked and deleted and we are really struggling as a business. We need this account back ASAP!

Flip Flop Wanderers November 11, 2021 - 4:29 pm

Yes he is, he helped so many people over time! He ain’t cheap though so we always recommend people ro first ask around if they know someone who knows someone who works for Facebook because they can help you for free.

insta June 30, 2022 - 2:55 am

I’ve been looking for information on how to do this for a long time. This is a very helpful post for me, thank you. David, author of the blog https://espiargratis.org/espiar-instagram/

Jamie August 10, 2022 - 12:53 am

This post was very helpfull, also i heard good news about Juan, he works at Facebook so its easy to him to get the accounts back, thank you thank you for your review, this helps a lot of people!!!

This is his website


His ig: @juanr325

Flip Flop Wanderers August 15, 2022 - 11:15 pm

Yess Juan was the best! He really helped us get our account back!

Victoria September 28, 2022 - 8:01 pm

I’m talking to Juan now- I don’t know if I have the guts to give him my email and password!

Flip Flop Wanderers October 5, 2022 - 8:23 pm

Hi Victoria,
We do understand, it’s really scary to give him your details! We were afraid as well but luckily it turned out really well and we now know that you can really trust him!


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