UPDATE 1/11/2021 – After 3 weeks of trying, my Instagram Account was finally reenabled! If you aren’t doing so yet, make sure to follow @minnievanmom on Instagram.
As most of you know, I started Minnie Van Mom by creating an Instagram account that slowly turned into a blog. I spent hours curating the best content for my Instagram, connecting with others, and sharing what was happening in my life. Ten days ago, on my 31st birthday, I thought there was no better way to celebrate than by sharing a giveaway with my followers. Boy, was I wrong.
When I decided to do a giveaway, I wanted to do something fun, useful, and Disney (of course), so I decided to giveaway the cutest Mickey Mouse Loungefly Backpack. I’ve done giveaways many times before without any issues, and I was excited to give something away right before Christmas. The rules were relatively simple, follow me and tag a friend on my post, with plans to announce the winner on Christmas Eve. I posted the giveaway on my Instagram page on December 19 and Sunday, December 20, I woke up to quite a few of my followers informing me that someone had made a fake account pretending to be me
The account was “@minnievanmom.official” to my “@minnievanmom,” and they had even stollen and used my profile picture. Although I didn’t screenshot the account itself, the bio said something like “the official winner account of @minnievanmom,” and they followed my followers. This account was apparently messaging my followers saying, “Congratulations! You won my giveaway! Please enter your credit card information for shipping, and I will mail you your prize”. But, they weren’t mailing anything; they were pretending to be my and stealing my followers’ credit card information.
Although I knew that I couldn’t control crazy people, I felt responsible and honestly sick to my stomach. I immediately reported the account as impersonating me. I also went to my personal Instagram account and reported the fake Instagram account from there as well. I felt a little better until I went back to my @minnievanmom account and received an error message informing me that MY account had been disabled.
At first, I felt stressed, followed by some calm (because, well, I KNEW my account wasn’t doing anything wrong). The message I saw on my @minnievanmom Instagram account said they would text my phone a code and that I needed to enter the code to regain access to my account. I followed the directions, and the next message I saw told me that in 24 hours, I could return to my Instagram account to file a review. The whole thing made me so upset, I tried reaching out to Instagram but quickly learned that there was NO ONE to talk to, so I waited for 24 hours.
The next day, I tried logging back into my account, and I saw a screen asking for my information. I entered my name, email address, and Instagram handle and attached a copy of my driver’s license. Once that form was filled out submitted, I received a message saying that Instagram would soon contact me.
A couple hours later, I received and email asking me to send a selfie with my license in hand, which I did, and moments later received this message:
I was shocked, genuinely shocked. I racked my brain, wondering HOW this could possibly be the case as the account was mine; I created it and had worked so hard on it. I tried submitting a new picture and received the same message, so finally, I cried.
The next day, I got my act together. I woke up early and researched as much as possible about disabled Instagram accounts and what I could do about it. I quickly realized that there wasn’t really much I could do, but I would try. To start, I remembered that Facebook owns Instagram, so I decided to give Facebook Customer Service a try. Luckily, my Instagram account was a “Creator” account, and it was connected to my Minnie Van Mom Facebook page, which is a business page, so I was able to reach out to Facebook Business Help.
Finally, I was able to talk to a person and explain what was going on. I tried not to let my frustration get the best of me and just explained what happened. My Facebook contact, gathered some information from me and created a case ID. She informed me that this would need to go to a specialized team and give me updates along the way. Staying true to her word, she has emailed me every so often over the past couple of days, giving me updates and asking questions about my account. Unfortunately, that is about as far as I have gotten.
So now, I wait. It has been nine days since Instagram disabled my account; Nine days, I have been unable to create content and connect with people, which I love doing. It is still insane to me that my account was disabled for impersonation when I was the one who reported someone for truly impersonating me; someone who was using the Instagram platform to steal others’ credit card information.
Although I have cried about it multiple times, I try to see the good in the situation. My account was disabled over Christmas which means I could unplug and spend time with my family without worrying about content. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and didn’t have to worry about taking pictures or posting things. I am losing hope quickly that I will ever have access to my account again, but I hope this will inspire me to push myself and do new things in 2021.
If you have any tips or tricks on how I can get my Instagram account back, please comment below or message me. I will take all of the help that I can get.
Sending love and magic.