Gephardt: KSL Investigators Help Cedar Hills Woman Reclaim Her Snapchat Account From Hacker
CEDAR HILLS, Utah – Imagine being helplessly locked out of your own Snapchat account by a hacker posing as you as they hit up your friends for money.
When that happened to a Cedar Hills woman, she said she couldn’t get help in recovering her Snapchat account, so she contacted the KSL Investigators.
Holly Laing had no idea trouble was brewing until an out-of-the-blue email showed up from Snapchat. It told her both the email linked to her account and the account’s password had been successfully changed. That is out-of-the-blue because Laing had not made any changes to her Snapchat at all.
When she tried to log back in, she said it was already too late – someone else got in and locked her out.
“Someone else has access to all of my photos,” Laing said. “I’ve had Snapchat for around five years, and so that’s five-years-worth of photos. I just can’t do anything about it.”
Photos aside, the intruder made quick work of his or her access to Laing’s Snapchat contacts.
“That is definitely my communication app. That is where I talk to most of my friends,” Laing said.
Now, an imposter was talking to her friends, begging them to send money for a new phone since “her” credit cards were maxed out.
The real Laing wasted no time contacting Snapchat support, but time did get wasted. “They said they’d get back to me within 24 hours,” Laing said.
Making matters worse, she said when Snapchat responded, they told her they could not help her because the recovery email ID, password and the phone number associated with the account didn’t match.
The bad guy changed all that. So, 72 hours later: “Still don’t have access to the account, I can’t get into the account at all.”
This is where Laing brought us in.
We contacted Snapchat and asked what must be done to at least suspend her account to stop the intruder from using it to scam her friends.
They immediately took a second look, and apparently decided she was the real Holly Laing. The fake one got kicked out.
While Laing is glad to have again to her account, she was not thrilled by Snapchat’s customer service.
She believes something like this shouldn’t take days to resolve. “I definitely think that they need to at least have a number to call for when your account gets hacked,” she said. “And it can be taken care of within a couple minutes.”
We asked Snapchat if there is an emergency number for immediate help with hijacked accounts. We thoroughly looked over the site for such a number and couldn’t find one. They didn’t give us an answer on that, but did point us to the Snapchat Support, where you can get help in recovering your account by clicking the “Report a safety concern” option, followed by “My Snapchat account” and then “My account is hacked” under the “Tell us More” submenu.
In their response, Snapchat said it encourages users to report any issues to it its Trust and Safety team, “who works around the clock to investigate reports and take appropriate action.”
One thing you can do now to help avoid getting your account taken over is to activate two-factor authentication on Snapchat.
This will send a verification code direct to you before anyone can make changes that could lock you out.