HOUSTON – Amanda Solis has spent years building up her fanbase that shares the same love and appreciation for Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla.
But the fanbase belonging to the Selena impersonator, who travels cross-country to perform at birthday parties, weddings and festivals with musical tributes to the Tejano singer, is completely gone thanks to a random, persistent hacker, taking all 38,000 Instagram followers with them.
Solis told KPRC 2 she received a message from someone with the name @blackboy38k at around 3 a.m. on June 21, demanding $1,000 for her account back. Her original account @bidibidibombum was disabled.
“I had no idea this was a true hacking,” she said. “I’m used to my page taken down by haters who play with the ‘Report’ button but I realized and said ‘Hold on. This is different.’ It made me sick to my stomach.”
Even with Instagram’s two-factor authentication enabled, the hacker was still able to gain access to her account, taking over her followers and content and placed the account for sale, Solis said.
Solis reached out to Instagram for support on her issue, but never received a response or take any action to get her account back, not even an automated message confirming receipt of her message.
The hacker also disabled two other replacement accounts Solis had created and proceeded to harass her fans after Solis refused to pay the money to get her original account back.
She proceeded to build yet another one: @amandasolisofficial, which has 2,000 followers as of Wednesday. So far, the account is holding steady, but getting all her followers back has been slow.
Some of her loyal fans are helping out to bring awareness to her new account.
“My followers were messaging me and commenting via other platforms I’m on, and asked me, ‘Hey, what’s going on? You removed me on Instagram,’” she said. “It took me a while to build my platform and professional contacts, and now I have to do it all over again.”
Despite everything, she was still able to keep her spirits high and her sense of humor.
Thankfully, according to Solis, she was able to have a backup to her content, constantly uploaded to her new account, something she would advise to other content creators and influencers if a situation like hers arises.
“It’ll feel like you’re starting over, like starting a new page and such, but at least you’re not starting your content over from scratch,” she told KPRC. “Don’t wait until it’s too late.”