Aussie surfing prodigy Blaze Roberts has opened up about the ‘terrifying’ ordeal of having her Instagram account hacked and photos distributed without her knowledge.
The 18-year-old social media influencer, who also hopes to make a career out of surfing, has slammed Instagram for the ease in which she was hacked.
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Roberts told A Current Affair a group of hackers sent her a phishing email offering to ‘verify’ her account, with Instagram’s branding making it took legitimate.
They then gained control of her email and social media accounts and started posting sexually explicit material, none of which featured her.
The Sydney-based surfer says she found images in her inbox that the hackers had sent to Instagram when asked to prove their identity.
“For some reason Instagram didn’t think it was concerning that three people had sent them different photos,” Roberts told ACA.
“I kept messaging Instagram with screenshots and photos to try and send them the proof and they kept saying they didn’t have enough proof and they didn’t know what I was talking about.”
Blaze Roberts says hacking ordeal ‘terrifying’
Roberts is still yet to regain access to her account, which boasted some 40,000 followers.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever sent my address to a friend, I don’t know if I’ve ever sent my bank details to someone I know,” she said.
“So, the fact that they have access to that information is terrifying. Whether you have 100 followers of you have 100,000, this is scary to anyone.”
Tech Expert Trevor Long told ACA how hackers usually get influencers to pay for returned control of their accounts.
“There’s either a ransom going to be asked for to get the account back, they’re going to scam her followers by getting their information or asking them for money,” he said.
“Or they might be posting things that are going to send her followers to other places.”
Roberts has since been able to set up a new account with her same username.