Hacker targeting UM football accounts

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If you’re a student-athlete at the University of Michigan, or elsewhere, you might want to double-check your social media accounts and make sure they’re secure.

On Wednesday, a hacker took over The winged helmet account on Instagram. Shortly after, the hacker then targeted several University of Michigan football players – successfully hacking into the accounts of Braiden McGregor, Colston Loveland and former Wolverine Jalen Mayfield. The hacker also targeted the accounts of UM quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum, but luckily the two athletes weren’t hit.

In addition to using the account, the hacker also uses the account of former Oregon Ducks baseball player Kenyon Yovan to prey on other student athletes with the aim of stealing their accounts as well.

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Here’s how the scam works:

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  1. The hacker will access from a verified account that he stole.
  2. They will offer a partnership deal through a shoe affiliate program. In exchange for sending a new pair of shoes every month, the hacker simply asks you to post pictures of yourself wearing the shoes on your social media account and tag them in your post.
  3. To be part of the shoes affiliate program, you must register. This is where the hacker sends you a link to the program. The link will take you to a page with the Bleacher Report brands and give you the option to sign up with your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account.
  4. As soon as you sign up to be part of the affiliate program, that’s it – your account now belongs to the hacker. You will become painfully aware of this because you will no doubt receive several emails from Instagram informing you that your email, phone number and password have all been changed.

While some may view the loss of a social media page as rather insignificant, the reality is that many student-athletes are able to capitalize on NUL opportunities through their social media presence. For a student-athlete who has secured an NIL contract that includes promoting products or services, the loss of a social media presence can also mean the loss of an important contract.

As it stands, the hacker still controls the two verified Instagram accounts – The Winged Helmet and Kenyon Yovan – and is still actively using them to scam other people. Despite numerous requests for support from Instagram, the social media platform has remained completely unresponsive.

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