How Instagram account hacking is done : Top 6 methods used by Hackers

Dip R. Sharma

Published: October 23, 2022

Having a strong Instagram password is essential, but there are several ways for online thieves to access your account. Which raises the question, how exactly can Instagram accounts be hacked?

Hacking accounts for a sizable fraction of these destructive activities, and social media attacks alone bring in over $3 billion in revenue for hackers each year.



In order to assist influencers and company owners in protecting their Instagram accounts, we have listed below 6 methods that hackers use to steal personal data and bypass two-factor verification.





How do Instagram accounts get hacked?


How are Instagram accounts hacked by hackers? How can hackers get beyond Instagram's built-in security measures, such 2-factor authentication?

In most circumstances, the general response to that question is some type of social engineering.

The act of tricking and fooling Instagram users into freely revealing personal information is referred to as social engineering in this context.

1. Illegitimate suspicious activity alerts

2. Fraudulent giveaways and brand sponsorships

3. Reverse proxy attacks

4. False copyright infringement messages

5. Deceitful verified badge offers

6. Counterfeit social media tools

1. Illegitimate suspicious activity alerts

The Method

Hackers that use social engineering attacks make use of every piece of information at their disposal. For example, they may create suspicious activity alerts that appear to be normal Instagram notifications but contain malicious links.

The Solution

Emails from Instagram, according to the Meta-owned social site, only originate through "@mail.instagram.com" or "@facebookmail.com" addresses.


2. Fraudulent giveaways and brand sponsorships

The Method

Fraudulent offers are particularly aggravating since they exist in an ecosystem teeming with real promotional freebies. This type of social engineering can take two forms.

This sort of hack, in its most basic form, functions similarly to a bogus confirmed badge assault. The difference is that the hacker pretends to be a famous brand, an exciting start-up, or another well-known organisation giving a large prize to specified social media influencers.


Some fraudsters even have legitimate-looking profiles with thousands of followers that have been active for a long time. The initial message generally contains at least one forged link that leads to a fake Instagram login designed to extract the provided username and password.

When hackers have gathered information about you but still want a few more facts to effectively penetrate your account, a more complicated kind of fraudulent gifts and sponsorships might emerge. Instead of providing you a link to a faked login page, hackers may ask you to complete a survey in which you provide personal information such as your date of birth, mother's maiden name, and answers to popular security questions.

The Solution

Never feel rushed or compelled to click on links. Take the time to evaluate if the email is legitimate: search for spelling errors and linger over the links to see if it belongs to a recognised or safe domain. To be extra cautious, you may Google the company allegedly sending the email and call them to confirm that they indeed sent you an email.

3. Reverse proxy attacks

The Method

To acquire information from their targets, all of the social engineering hacking tactics we've discussed so far require hackers to manually develop bogus applications and internet pages. Hackers can use reverse proxy attacks to steal credentials without having to develop a counterfeit website or app.

A reverse proxy attack is a man-in-the-middle assault in which hackers send victims to a domain that lies between the user and the actual website. The URL will be remarkably similar to the real website, as will the general appearance of the malicious domain.

In the context of Instagram, you may get a convincing email from a hacker directing you to Instagram's login page. What you don't understand is that you've been directed to do this through a proxy server, which means that when you input your credentials and log into Instagram, your information, including 2FA, is intercepted in real time.

The Solution

When clicking on links in your email inbox, be extremely cautious; always verify an email purporting to be from Instagram by checking your Instagram account. Go to Security>Emails from your profile; if the email does not display there, it is most likely a fraud.

The Method

Instagram explicitly specifies that you may only post original content that does not breach copyright laws. However, it is conceivable that you will accidentally violate a copyright, in which case Instagram will take action and contact out to fix the situation.

As a result, several fraudsters have impersonated Instagram officials in order to handle copyright infringement concerns. In some circumstances, a hacker offers you a link through email or a private message on Instagram and urges you to check in to resolve the issue.


The link takes you to a bogus website that looks like Instagram's login page but is actually meant to capture your username and password. The only difference between the actual and false pages is a little alteration in the URL, which is difficult to notice.

To avoid arousing suspicion, thieves will frequently refer you to one of Instagram's genuine FAQ sites that addresses the issue of copyright infringement.

The Solution

You may use a few different techniques to authenticate the messages you get from Instagram. To begin, most critical Instagram alerts are sent immediately through the account interface or through email. If you receive a DM concerning your account, it is not real - even if it is from a profile with the moniker "Instagram."

Second, Instagram now keeps track of all security and login emails sent to your account. If you receive a strange email in your inbox, check this section of your Instagram account before you open the message.

Go to Security>Emails from Instagram from your profile. If you don't see a record of the email, delete it immediately.

5. Deceitful verified badge offers

The Method

You've probably seen verified badges, which are blue pins at the top of Instagram profiles that have been confirmed by the social network. While useful, this account feature is also at the heart of another social engineering technique used by hackers to sneak into Instagram.

In this situation, hackers send a private message or email offering the opportunity to add a validated badge, which links to a fraudulent website that captures your login information. In order to gain enough time to break into your account, they may require that you not modify your profile data, such as username or password, until the change has taken effect.

The Solution

There are a few tell-tell differences here that can help you avoid falling for such a scam. For starters, language errors such as excessive capitalization should act as a red flag. Furthermore, the profile from which the message is being sent does not belong to an official account or have a verified account. It includes the term "Instagram" in the name, but there is no evidence that it is legit. Finally, notice how the "contact us" language on the blue button is not correctly centred, which is inconsistent with the rest of the Instagram content.

6. Counterfeit social media tools

The Method

Managing a social media presence may be time-consuming, especially if you have a high number of followers. There are several tools available to help with the process, but you must also assess each platform to ensure it is from a genuine developer.

Hackers, like rogue web extensions, might construct counterfeit tools that appear to increase functionality but actually constitute a security risk.


These tools normally appear and feel real, but they provide very little functionality and actual benefit. Because it demands a huge amount of resources, this sort of technique is less prevalent, although it is still utilised by cybercriminals seeking for larger, more lucrative targets.

When this form of assault succeeds, target users integrate the fake tool into their social network profiles. This bogus utility may be used to launch man-in-the-middle attacks, intercept all data, and steal login information, among other things.

The Solution

It's usual to keep an eye on your budget, particularly in the early phases of an Instagram account. Working using lesser-known, low-cost tools, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of being targeted by fraudsters. To avoid this, choose well-established products from reputable vendors or platforms that have been suggested by reliable peers.

How do Instagram accounts get hacked?


We've now solved the question, "How do hackers hijack Instagram accounts?" Let's go through why these thieves would want to target your profile.

Hackers and other harmful actors, like other sorts of criminals, flock to the most popular platforms because they provide the most money prospects. Today, a huge number of followers may earn a substantial amount of income, and hackers are keen to capitalise on this.

Following a breach of your account, a hacker may perform the following.

  • Demand a ransom
  • Scam your friends, family members, and customers. Investment, Bitcoin, and Romance scams are some of the most common. 
  • Sell your account on the dark web
  • Use your account to run a fraudulent operation
  • Make various types of illegal requests, like requesting lewd photos

Are you trying to protect your account the best way possible?


Hackers routinely create new methods and take a variety of ways to get beyond Instagram's built-in security features. In the US, the number of victims of social media scams increased dramatically from 46,000 to 95,000 in 2021, and there are no immediate indicators that this trend will reverse.

The first step in keeping your Instagram account secure is learning about the various hacking methods and putting security best practises in place as a deterrent. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely protect your account from attacks; even customers who have multi-factor authentication enabled are at risk. That is why we created Notch, to finally provide developers with security.