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Scammers Target Miss England Contestants Following Instagram Account Hack

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Scammers Target Miss England Contestants Following Instagram Account Hack

A number of Miss England contestants have come under attack from hackers in Turkey and Iran, according to a new report from The Mirror.

The cyber attack reportedly began a few weeks ago with a blackmail swoop on the contest's official Instagram account, which was followed by targeted messages to individuals.

Miss England title holder Bhasha Mukherjee, 25, is among those to have been singled out by the hackers, having received a message that her Instagram page would be deactivated if she did not click a link.

Mukherjee, who is an NHS doctor in Boston, Lincolnshire, told the Mirror: "I got a message saying 'You've been involved in fraud, if you don't press this link, the page will be deactivated.'

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"They've gone to other girls too. It's not so much being worried about pictures being used, it's access to personal information. That might be more dangerous."

Credit: Instagram/@bhashamukherjee
Credit: Instagram/@bhashamukherjee

Former beauty queen Angie Beasley, who now runs the contest, also received what she believed was a genuine message asking her to confirm her phone number.

After clicking the code and entering her number, she inadvertently allowed scammers to lock her out of her account - which has 20,000 followers - so they could control it.

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A 'Grey Hat Hacker' later sent a sinister WhatsApp message that said: "If you want to save your account we can make a deal with you.

"The account is still hacked. We're doing our best to get it back."

According to the Mirror, the message had an Iranian code, while a later login was also made from Turkey.

Speaking to The Daily Mail last month, Beasley said: "It is an absolute nightmare. It's shocking to think that people can get your details like this. They are after money."

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She said the social media account targeted had been used to raise money for charity.

"On Tuesday night I was on Instagram and I got this message sent from what looked like Instagram admin.

"The message said I had broken rules and they were going to close the account down.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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"It included a link you could click to appeal the decision. I had no idea what it was all about as we only put good things and charity appeals on there. I clicked on the link and got another message saying it could see I was trying to access the appeal form and could I confirm my phone number, which I did.

"I got sent a code which I then gave to them and then everything just went. The next thing I knew the whole account whizzed in front of me on my phone and the account was taken over."

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said at the time that it had acted as soon as the issue was brought to its attention.

A spokesman told The Daily Mail: "We have secured the account brought to our attention, and the account owner now has her access restored.

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"Anyone who is concerned they may have been hacked should visit our Help Centre."

The Mirror reports that cyber crime group Action Fraud said police were investigating.

LADbible has reached out to Facebook and Action Fraud for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@bhashamukherjee

Topics: UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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