Ms Kiedrzynski has now done facial recognition 72 times. Around 60 of those responses from Instagram replied thanking her and they’d be in touch within one to two working days. She is still waiting.
The other replies from Instagram told her to simply unfollow the account and block the content she didn’t want to see.
“Within 10 hours of the hackers taking over, I received a message via WhatsApp from them, holding my account for ransom. They requested money and they’d return my account untouched. [Almost] 24 hours passed and they told me if I don’t pay, they’ll sell the account to someone else or they would delete all the content,” Ms Kiedrzynski said.
“By this point, I was completely heartbroken, years of hard work and money invested in this page was all gone. These hackers have really affected our sales, as a small business, the hit was hard.
“For years now and currently we run ads via Facebook, how they can say I don’t own the account is beyond me as the ad accounts are owned by me and then the business accounts branch from there.
“Another lesson throughout this experience as a brand is that Instagram doesn’t recognise me as the owner of the account because I don’t have photos of myself on the feed. When I started this range, it wasn’t about me, we share all the amazing customers that are experiencing our supplements so there is no need to feature myself daily as I work behind the brand. I did have 2 photos introducing myself as the founder and at our birthday celebrations, but it wasn’t enough for Instagram to help me.”
“We have had to start all over again, countless hours of reaching out to followers letting them know what’s happened, ensuring they don’t interact with this account for their safety and trying to get them to now follow another page in the support to rebuild our integrity and brand,” Ms Kiedrzynski said.
“We lost years of content and now are left trying to fill in the gaps and recreate what’s been lost.
I cannot say this enough, whether your business is an online service or product based, please ensure you share the founders for facial recognition purposes. Use two-factor authentication on all platforms and change your passwords regularly because these guys are brutal and will go to any length to trick you and take over your accounts.”