How I Got My Instagram Account Back After Being Hacked

I recently got my Instagram account hacked (for the 2nd time). Here’s what I learned.


First, even though you have great passwords and 2-step authentication, you’re still at risk of getting hacked.

Read on…


When it first happened, I was pissed and enraged. And then I collapsed into my victim position. Why me, etc. 

Since I had worked very hard (for years) to get 94,000 followers, I didn’t understand how it could all fall apart so easily. 


The hacker gave me a WhatsApp number to contact, which I chose not to do. I wanted to go through the Meta, Facebook and Instagram channels first. For 2 straight weeks, I spent over 6-7 hours on chats, emails, and phone calls with reps from Meta. I spoke to about 15 different reps. We even had a personal contact through our ad account at Facebook who tried to help.


They sent me to this page, this page, and this page. and all were dead ends. IG will also tell you here, to upload a selfie video to prove you’re a real person, but not give you anywhere to upload it to. I also emailed them using this email. [email protected], but that also went nowhere. This page was the closest I came to getting in touch with IG, but I couldn’t bypass it because they needed my IG handle, which had been deleted. I tried using other account handles and kept getting error messages at every turn. No one at Meta could help me get past this page to submit anything to IG.

Googling everything, I found this guy’s vid that was most helpful but didn’t work for me since my account was deleted by the hacker.


In the end, every lead was a dead end, and not once was I able to speak to a rep from IG. 


Seeing where this was going early on, after about 5 days I reached out to the hacker via email. I had his email because when you get hacked, they do 3 things upfront. They immediately change your PW, and email, and they take off 2-step authentication (which I had in place). So, I emailed the guy b/c I felt like my email was more secure than what’s app. 

We went back and forth a few times and I asked him how much money he wanted. 


Researching online, I found someone who is trying to take IG to court because he said accounts were getting hacked (with the help from insiders at IG, and that the ransom was typically $5000-$25000, depending on how big your account is). 


At this point, I was starting to let go of IG forever and open the door to different opportunities. I’m grateful that my business doesn’t depend on IG and that it is only one channel of many where people can find me and my work. 


I began to see the benefits of my account getting hacked and the drawbacks had it not been hacked. After all, it’s a fucking Instagram account. It’s not my arm, my child, or my house burning down in a fire. I saw how small and how privileged this “problem” really was. 


Once I “let go” I had to decide if I wanted it back. Hmmm.


The Hacker wanted me to take the conversation to IG DMs, which I did through a new account I created called @jaysongaddisofficial. I figured I better start over at zero and start telling people that I got hacked, so I could start building a following again, even tho I was sort of ambivalent about starting over. 


After a couple of days, I decided that the only way I was getting my account back was to pay for it. I realized that the most important reason to get it back is credibility/authority (for things like book deals) and for getting speaking gigs. 


So, the hacker and I started going back and forth around day 12 inside of IG DMs. At this point, I wanted to know who I was dealing with. I asked him where he was from and other personal info. I “befriended” my hacker instead of treating him as an enemy. I think this was a good move. 


He’s from Russia. He’s 19. His parents got divorced a few years ago and it’s been hard on him. He lives with his father. Both parents don’t have money and Russia is very volatile right now. He said there are not great jobs in Russia, so hacking is what he’s doing to make ends meet. He’s been into computers since he was a kid and he’s very good with them. He repeatedly let me know he didn’t want to harm me, he just wanted money. We agreed to keep things respectful.


Anytime he got impatient with me I reminded him about our agreement. 


I asked him how he got into my account (and this is the shocker). He partners with a guy at Meta and they hack accounts and split the earnings. 


So, no matter how secure my account was, someone at Meta helped this hacker get into my account. Ouch and scary AF.


I was able to talk him down and I agreed to pay him half in bitcoin, get my account back, then pay him the rest. This all went very smoothly and he agreed to help me protect my account even more in the future. 


Here’s what he recommended:

  1. Don’t ever give your PW to any site other than IG (duh)
  2. Do not make any PW the same as your social media accounts
  3. Activate 2 -step authentication on all accounts
  4. Change your email address registered to the account on a regular basis (this was the biggie b/c if the hacker has this he can get in your account). 

Three more that I added. 


  1. I now have a VPN on my devices
  2. When traveling don’t use free airport wifi unless you have a VPN (this didn’t happen to me, but I think it did the first time I got hacked).
  3. Look into cyber insurance for sure. However, they will cover the “value” of your IG account, which is subjective and completely up to their discretion. I didn’t want money. I wanted the account and I’ve heard most cyber ins companies can’t get your account back unless they pay the hacker directly, which is risky for them so they are unlikely to choose this option.


Finally, now that I’m semi-friends with a hacker, he said he can help any of my friends who get hacked. But I’m sure you’ll have to pay for it. 


I hope this helps you.

If you want to follow me on my real account that I got back, you can do that here: 

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