Duane Vermeulen has detailed how his social media accounts were hacked when he recently became the target of a blackmail plot.
Last week, Vermeulen’s email, PayPal and social media accounts were hacked in to, with the Bok No 8 explaining to Rapport that it all started when he received an email that appeared to be from Instagram, suggesting he change his status from that of a normal ‘user’ to one of a ‘creator’.
‘I know how this sounds, but the email looked absolutely genuine,’ said Vermeulen.
‘Every now and then we post pictures to Instagram for sponsors and according to the email this was in violation of Instagram’s rules, therefore I was requested to change my status.
‘However, when I clicked on the link to do so it took me to a completely different site. I immediately tried to leave but by that time it was too late.’
The hackers then attempted to use Vermeulen’s PayPal account, and although this action was able to be successfully stopped, they then told the World Cup winner they would take over his Whatsapp unless he paid them $500 (nearly R9,000).
‘You know that if you pay it’s not going to stop,’ said Vermeulen. ‘When I started to do some investigating I found that this had happened with a lot of people, which is really bad as you tend to lose the commercial value of your followers.’