Wimbledon champ caught in extraordinary $650m extortion attempt

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor

Simona Halep was forced to shut down her Instagram account over the weekend after hackers tried to extort her followers out of millions of dollars.

A message was posted to Halep’s Instagram story, appealing for help to get the Wimbledon champion out of a tight spot.

However it was all a hoax.

According to The Sun, the hackers posted: “Hey, can someone please help me out...? I am stuck in Switzerland and my bank account is not working here.

Simona Halep with the trophy after winning the Wimbledon final. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Simona Halep with the trophy after winning Wimbledon. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

“In need of $500 willing to return $1500 by the weekend.

“I have a Zelle account! Venmo is not working here for some reason.

“Pls stop asking can I take Venmo ... this is so embarrassing!”

Zelle and Venmo are services similar to PayPal.

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Halep was forced to send out a warning on her Twitter account telling her fans not to send the money.

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Had it have worked, Halep’s 1.3 million followers could have potentially sent the hackers $650 million.

That was followed by another message from the hackers offering fans a free iPhone X for their loyalty.

Simona Halep's Instagram story was hacked. Image: Supplied
Simona Halep's Instagram story. Image: Supplied

A link was also placed in the bio of Halep’s Instagram page, offering followers $350.

Halep’s $4 million Wimbledon payday

Halep recently crushed Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final, walking away with a cool $4.2 million for her troubles.

The Romanian took just 58 minutes to beat Serena, climbing to World No.2 in the process.

"She really played out of her mind," Serena said.

"So whenever a player plays that amazing you just kind of have to take your hat off and give them a nod.

"I was over-hitting it, trying to go for too much. She was getting just a tremendous amount of balls back.

"I just was trying different things. Today nothing really helped.

"I've got just got to keep fighting and keep trying and just enjoy the sport."

with agencies