The Hijacking of Instagram KBJR0719

Submitted into Contest #140 in response to: Write a story inspired by a memory of yours.... view prompt

47 comments

Funny Creative Nonfiction Gay

When the Bitcoin pirates abducted my Instagram, I was watching a movie on whales.

Something about how whales are worse than sharks. A documentary. I found it to be unreliable. A shark is a shark. This must be the work of the shark lobbyists, I thought.

As I was creating oceanic conspiracies in my mind, I received a text message from a friend--

“Hey, I think your Instagram got hacked. Also, you still need to Venmo me for that thing with the hot air balloon.”

I’ll tell you about the hot air balloon some other time.

When I went to check on my Instagram, I found that I couldn’t get into my account. I received a message that said “This isn’t your Instagram anymore. Go away and never come back. You are not welcome here. She’s mine now, and you just need to live with this and move on. It’ll be better for all of us if you just walk away. Just walk away, dude. Just. Walk. Away.

I could not walk away.

My Instagram was mine. I’d had it for years. There were precious photos on there of me eating charcuterie and holding various puppies to my chest as though they were little babies. How could I be expected to surrender all that?

Soon, more text messages came in from friends and a few people I used to work with at a store that sold mountain climbing equipment.

“Hey, I think you’ve been hacked.”

“Hey, are you really trying to sell me Bitcoin?”

“Hey, do you still need my social security number?”

“Hey, why is one of your eyelids bigger than the other?”

“Hey, I just got a weird message from you about NFT’s.”

NFT might as well have meant “I have No F#$%-ing Time to deal with this.

I was busy watching nature documentaries and checking on the tracking status of the jungle gym I ordered every few minutes.

Upon Googling, “How do I get a stolen Instagram back and can the people who stole it be marched through the town square and pelted with rotten fruit as a warning to any future Bitcoin pirates who might try this?” I was met with some reassuring news.

Instagram--glorious bastion of accountability and consumer privacy advocate, owned by Facebook (sorry, Meta)--has a procedure for this.

You fill out a form.

You take a picture of yourself proving that you are who you say you are.

You send it to Instagram.

They give you your account back.

Huzzah.

I filled out the form.

I took a photo of myself where the lighting was great and my chin looked amazing holding up a piece of paper with my name and Instagram handle.

I sent all that to Instagram.

They responded with an email saying they had sent an email to the email not to the email address they were messaging me on, but to the address that was now currently on file with a password reset link.

When I responded to that email by letting them know that the Bitcoin pirates were savvy enough to change the email address and phone number on file, their response was the shrug emoji followed by the crying emoji followed by the waving hand emoji.

I was on my own.

When I went back to Google, I found that I was not the only one experiencing this issue. In fact, there were numerous stories from influencers with millions of followers all about how their livelihood was taken away by hackers and thieves. Ransom demands were made. Money was sent. Nobody got their account back and Instagram seemed unwilling to do anything about it. Their employees started getting hassled about it on LinkedIn. Their employees went into hiding. Instagram changed its name to Feta. They were then sued by a cheese company. The influencers posted videos of themselves crying and begging to have their accounts returned. They promised if the accounts were returned unharmed, there wouldn’t be any repercussions. At a closed door meeting of the Shark Council, a report was read indicating that the whale propaganda campaign was working and approval numbers for sharks was going through the roof. One of the Bitcoin pirates messaged one of my friends and had the following conversation with her--

Hi pretty lady, you are so sexy!

You are not Kevin.

Yes, I am Kevin. Would you like to buy Bitcoin?

You are not Kevin.

I am Kevin and I love Bitcoin. You are so hot, but you would be hotter with some Bitcoin.

Kevin is gay.

Yes, I am Kevin and I am gay for Bitcoin.

Other friends had their Instagram accounts hacked as the result of handing out information to the hackers who took my account. I felt responsible. I sent them cards apologizing for a crime I didn't commit. I started a support group. We all met on the first of the month in a church basement where we drank lukewarm coffee and sat on uncomfortable chairs. We talked about how many followers we had when we were hacked. We talked about the photos that had gotten the most Likes. We talked about DM’s that would never be answered and follower requests that would never be approved. We talked about the future and how it seemed like there wasn’t going to be any future. Some of us talked about going back to Facebook, but we agreed that we’d rather tie ourselves to a Go-Kart and let it drag us around a family fun center. Someone mentioned that she’d heard some surprising news about how a shiver of sharks had rescued a boat full of orphans.

That was when I learned that a group of sharks is called a shiver.

They say that sometimes you have to kill what you love, especially if what you love has been consumed by hackers and used to harm others by trying to sell them fake money. I began to tell my friends to go ahead and report my profile. The hackers had begun curating it. They were posting about Bitcoin. They were commenting and chatting and they seemed like a much friendlier version of me. They even changed my profile photo to one where I looked really good, and I appreciated them looking out for my brand even though they were pure evil.

I guess even pirates contain multitudes.

Eventually, the account was shut down after being reported by dozens of my friends. That freed up the handle and allowed me to create a new account. I had taken screenshots of some of my favorite photos (all the ones of charcuterie and that blurry one of me winning the Pulitzer Prize), and with that handful of memories, I started back at the beginning.

I was now @KBJR0719 Version 2.0 with two-factor authentication and a Liam Neeson-esque desire to hunt down the terrorists who had made me look like a fool and rain justice down upon them. Unfortunately, the CIA wouldn’t return my calls, so I had to give up that dream and just hope that karma and legislation destroy cryptocurrency altogether one day.

A month after my new account was launched, I was having lunch with a friend at the aquarium when they mentioned that someone had messaged them on Instagram about a great opportunity to invest in a new form of money called SharkBucks.

I looked over at the tank to our left where a Great White was swimming gleefully in a circle holding what looked like an iPhone and taking selfies in front of a fake coral reef.

And suddenly, it all made sense.

April 08, 2022 18:49

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47 comments

K. Antonio
21:28 Apr 08, 2022

"I was now @KBJR0719 Version 2.0 with two-factor authentication and a Liam Neeson-esque desire to hunt down the terrorists who had made me look like a fool and rain justice down upon them. " -LOL This was so funny. The being gay for bitcoin... HAD ME FLOORED. This was so outrageous and over the top, but also filled with little glimmers of human realness (over checking google for example). Honestly, I just loved this. I was sort of in a rut after work AND THIS GOT ME OUT OF IT!

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Kevin Broccoli
21:59 Apr 08, 2022

Always glad to help a friend out of a rut!

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Sarah Jade
13:42 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Delia Tomkus
11:08 Apr 12, 2022

This is hilarious I love it

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Kevin Broccoli
16:29 Apr 12, 2022

Thank you!

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Sarah Jade
13:42 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Not Active
16:15 Apr 11, 2022

This story is fantastic and so funny. I loved it. I have a relative who is constantly ranting about cryptocurrency, and it was refreshing to see a different point of view for a change. Great work.

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Kevin Broccoli
16:51 Apr 11, 2022

Thank you, Elizabeth.

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Sarah Jade
13:42 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Francis Daisy
14:40 Apr 10, 2022

This story would be funny, except that this recently happened to my daughter. So as a mama bear, I was reading your story hoping you had some real information in it that would be helpful. However, everything you wrote is exactly how it plays out in the real world. With one exception. There is a link to the FBI if you are interested. If the FBI gets enough complaints with the same suspect information, an investigation will be launched. (Internet Crime Complaint Center: ic3.gov)

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Kevin Broccoli
18:47 Apr 10, 2022

Yeah I went ahead and filed when it happened based on the advice of another friend, but never heard back. I suspect they might look into it but not bother actually trying to get your account back. The frustrating part is that the easiest fix would be for Instagram to help you retrieve your account by sending an email to the email account that created the account in the first place.

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Francis Daisy
12:12 Apr 11, 2022

There is a definite flaw in their system. We went around and around chasing our tail trying to close the account or at least recover the account but the hacker was always one step ahead changing the password. It's a scary world out there. My daughter was upset that she "lost" all of her photos; I was beyond upset that some 36 year old man had control of her account and was DM'ing her. I have to believe that even though we don't hear back from the FBI, it is all being handled. Evil does not win. There are too many good people out there. Angel...

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Kevin Broccoli
16:10 Apr 11, 2022

Were you able to screenshot any of the photos or did he make the account private? My hacker was actually calling friends using the Instagram phone application so that part of the story was absolutely true.

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Francis Daisy
12:32 Apr 14, 2022

He took control of the account and was contacting all of her friends and family members. It was a nightmare. Fortunately, we were on top of it very quickly and we were able to shut him down within an hour. (It helps that we have law enforcement in the family)

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Kevin Broccoli
16:24 Apr 14, 2022

That's so scary. I was so mad that Instagram takes such little responsibility for this kind of thing.

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Sarah Jade
13:43 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Jay Mc Kenzie
02:17 Apr 10, 2022

This is so funny! I love the image of the support meeting with the lukewarm coffee. Beautiful!

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Kevin Broccoli
18:47 Apr 10, 2022

Thank you, Jay.

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Sarah Jade
13:43 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Sharon Hancock
02:05 Apr 10, 2022

“shiver of sharks had rescued a boat full of orphans. That was when I learned that a group of sharks is called a shiver.” 😂😂😂I almost woke my husband up laughing at this. Bc I went..oh a group of sharks is called a shiver ..and then read the next sentence. So many hilarious moments in this you had me laughing the whole time. Although this is a serious issue (bc even though I don’t know how they/you do it, people actually make $ with instagram and stealing someone’s livelihood is serious) and it probably really sucked , you found a way to ma...

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Kevin Broccoli
18:48 Apr 10, 2022

Thank you, Sharon!

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Sarah Jade
13:43 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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22:04 Apr 09, 2022

I feel like we’re related.

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Kevin Broccoli
18:48 Apr 10, 2022

Is your Dad's name Kevin Broccoli?

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19:12 Apr 10, 2022

Close. Kelvin Brocolli (when we were in witness protection). The agent in charge of names (the A-CoN) hated double C’s but loved extra L’s. You can see the almost-connection.

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Sarah Jade
13:44 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Sarah Jade
13:43 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Emma Harris
19:36 Apr 09, 2022

Ha. This is absurdly good.

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Kevin Broccoli
01:44 Apr 11, 2022

Thank you so much.

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Sarah Jade
13:44 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Okashi Kashi
04:21 Apr 09, 2022

Nice one Kevin! Although I’m too lazy to find it, I’m sure there’s a place to squeeze in a Shark Tank joke…I mean they ARE investors, and you mention Bitcoin and NFTs and whatnot…just a thought. Thanks for this!

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Kevin Broccoli
16:55 Apr 09, 2022

Thanks for reading!

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Sarah Jade
13:44 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Kai Corvus
23:34 Apr 08, 2022

Wow. This was certainly a rollercoaster of emotions, and I will never look at a shark the same way again. Or bitcoin, for that matter. There were so many great parts to this. The plot wove in real life with the oddities of the internet (I'll admit, there are a lot of oddities on there to choose from) and the ending? I have no words except these: I will be investing in SharkBucks.

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Sarah Jade
13:44 May 31, 2022

IS NO LONGER NEWS THAT DR OGAH IS THE BEST SPELL CASTER OF THE YEAR. i have work hard and tried everything i could to get my lover back but nothing works out for me to get him back, till i came across a great man profile called Dr. OGAH, a love spell caster that helped me get my lover back to me wethin the period of 2days i want to say with his great power he has save so many lifes and relationship he was the only man i contacted and his love spell really brought my ex back for in case you need his help for your relationship to be restored y...

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Zack Powell
22:11 Apr 08, 2022

There it is, friends: the classic Kevin Broccoli humor. Good stuff. 👌 I really appreciate you threading the oceanic references in here. "Bitcoin pirates," the sharks vs. whales debate (shark lobbyists, LOL), and the ending. It's always nice to see extended metaphors carried through a story, from the first line all the way to the last. Too many great one-liners to name them all here, but to list a few: "NFT might as well have meant “I have No F#$%-ing Time to deal with this.”" "There were precious photos on there of me eating charcuterie and ...

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Kevin Broccoli
22:44 Apr 08, 2022

Thank you my friend!

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Michał Przywara
22:07 Apr 08, 2022

Hah, this was hilarious! Killer first line, pretty much had to read on. The rest continued strong with a great sense of humour. But when I hit: “Hey, do you still need my social security number?” Oof. Funny but also sudden anxiety rush. Some people are too innocent for the Internet :) Thanks for sharing!

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Kevin Broccoli
22:44 Apr 08, 2022

Thank you!

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Riel Rosehill
21:51 Apr 08, 2022

This story have me so much joy. I was laughing so much. "Instagram changed its name to Feta." I was close to spitting out my tea 🤣 Love the story with the shark maffia (the sharks rescuing orphans was one of my favourite line here) and the gay for bitcoin scammer... xD hilarious. Well done again and thanks for sharing this cracking story. Every single sentence was just pure fun! Ok, I'll add you on insta, you've won a follow for this :D

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Kevin Broccoli
22:00 Apr 08, 2022

Yes! I'll be an influencer in no time!

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Scout Tahoe
20:37 Apr 08, 2022

Oh. My. %#*^ing. Gawd. Kevin. Stop. This is too funny. I can’t stop laughing. However… I’m quite scared because this is under the memory prompt which means this might’ve happened to you…? Where can I purchase some SharkBucks?

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Kevin Broccoli
21:05 Apr 08, 2022

Oh it absolutely did happen. SharkBucks can be purchased at SharkBucks.com. Oh, and add me on Insta everybody @KBJR0719

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Scout Tahoe
01:06 Apr 09, 2022

Sketchy . . . unfortunately, I don't subscribe to social media. I'll have to get to know your sharky-self over Reedsy.

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Jen Mc Auslin
00:05 Apr 17, 2022

Was it Imani D byers who hacked you? Or maybe Alexander chang?

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Dragos Marcean
08:56 Apr 14, 2022

Lol! Nice story :)) Feels like a Facebook post, but it's rather entertaining. Funny how the instagram support team handled with the emojies.

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