EXCLUSIVE: Miss England call in the police after hack by Turkish cyber-criminals who demand money to unlock password account
- Famous beauty pageant was targeted by cyber-crooks posing as officials
- Once they hacked the account they locked out the competition’s organiser
- She received a ransom message the next day demanding she pay up
Miss England have called in the police after Turkish cyber criminals hacked their account – and then demanded money to unlock it.
The famous beauty pageant was targeted on Tuesday night with a sophisticated online scam.
Miss England organiser Angie Beasley was stung after receiving what appeared to be a legitimate message from Instagram, asking her to confirm her phone number.
She then clicked on a code which then allowed the hackers to take over the 20,000 followers-strong account, locking her out for good.
This morning the cyber-crooks contacted her on WhatsApp demanding ‘If you want to save your account we can make a deal with you’.
Ms Beasley immediately contacted Action Fraud, UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, who have escalated to Leicestershire Police.
She told MailOnline: ‘It is an absolute nightmare. It’s shocking to think that people can get your details like this. They are after money.’
Reigning Miss England winner Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee after scooping the crown in 2019
This is the account that was taken over by Turkish cyber-criminals earlier this week
Menacing messages from the cyber-crooks urged organisers to ‘do a deal’ to get it back
Ms Beasley, herself a beauty pageant winner, 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.
‘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.
‘The code exchange must have given him access to my instagram. Since then they have contacted me on my phone and someone claiming to be a ‘Grey Hat Hacker’, whatever that is.
Miss England is one the world’s most famous beauty pageants and dates back to 1923
Miss England organiser Angie Beasley told how she was targeted by the hackers this week
‘I just want the account back and no more people to be conned by this.’
Miss England is one the world’s most famous beauty pageants and dates back to 1923.
The winners go on to compete in Miss World and Stephanie Hill achieved the best-ever result as the second runner-up in 2017.
Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee is the reigning Miss England, while this year’s pandemic saw a virtual competition guarantee saw finalist of the Year awarded to an army cadet.
Alina Green, 22, from Bracknell, Berkshire, will go into the top ten of the 2021 Miss England finals.
Action Fraud confirmed it had now passed details of the hack to the police, while Instagram said it would investigate.
Leicester Constabulary told MailOnline tonight: ‘We have received a report from Action Fraud today regarding an allegation that a social media account had been hacked.
‘Officers will be making enquiries into the report and speaking to the complainant to obtain further information.’
Facebook – which own Instagram – said it had acted as soon as it was brought to their attention.
A spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We have secured the account brought to our attention, and the account owner now has her access restored.
‘Anyone who is concerned they may have been hacked should visit our Help Centre.’
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