Second Tampa Bay man finds Instagram account taken over by imposter selling Bitcoin

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Christopher Cifuentes was stunned when he learned his Instagram account was taken over by an imposter. 

“I’m not an influencer,” he said. “I have no idea why someone would want my account.”

The imposter has been posting about Bitcoin for about a week and trying to get his friends to invest.

Cifuentes is the second Tampa Bay area man to turn to Better Call Behnken for help after his account was taken over. Last week, Daniel Higgins told his story after he couldn’t log into his Instagram account and then discovered his password had been changed.

He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a new post on his account: a video of man that looked and sounded just like him, telling all of his Instagram followers to buy Bitcoin.

“I just invested $300 into Bitcoin and got $10,000 back. Gotta try it,” the fake Higgins said in the video.

Suddenly, he received text messages from followers wondering what was going on.

After our Better Call Behnken story, Higgins’ imposter changed the page to dozens of Bitcoin posts. After another email to Instagram Monday, though, the page was removed.

Cifuentes still hasn’t heard anything whether Instagram will help him. 

It’s likely the followers that make people a target for the imposters. 

You may have heard about deepfake videos that use an algorithm to replace the person in the original video with someone else in a way that makes it look real. Some deepfake videos using public figures have gone viral but, as Higgins’ story shows, regular people can be targeted, too.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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