NEIU Master Student Instagram Hack

Photo+of+Antonio+AJ+Turner

Photo of Antonio “AJ” Turner

Leslie Lozada, Campus Life Editor

Criminals hacked into a NEIU graduate student Instagram account on Sunday, August 28, 2022 ratcheting up hundreds of dollars and affecting several NEIU students in the process. Antonio “AJ” Turner recently graduated from NEIU in Spring 2022 and returned back in Fall 2022 for his Masters’ in Marketing. His Instagram account, known as @Musicman_AJ boasts over 8,000 followers with connections spanning all over the world.

 

Enrique Cerros, a CMT major, said to The Independent “Two red flags I noticed was that he never answered me when I asked why he needed the money and he kept asking for more, now he wanted $70 on top of the $50 I had just sent.” Cerros, who had written for The Independent in the past, also mentioned that someone tried to hack his Instagram account after sending the money over.

 

Turner is heavily involved with several student organizations; such as Black Caucus, the Student Media Board, and the International Club. People who were messaged by the hacker were asked to send $50 , with the promise of sending it back the following day. Once they have done so, the hacker went so far as to ask for $70  more after they have sent the money. The money was not returned the following day. Several people who were scammed were all asked the same questions. Further investigation showed that perpetrators are using different numbers and emails to scam people out of money, through Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, and Apple Pay.

 

Several NEIU students who follow the account were affected by both alumni and undergraduate students. Enrique Cerros, a communications major, said to The Independent “Two red flags I noticed was that he never answered me when I asked why he needed the money and he kept asking for more, now he wanted $70 on top of the $50 I had just sent.”  Cerros also mentioned that someone tried to hack his Instagram account after sending the money over. 

 

There have been a wave of responses from those who follow the account, with Turner receiving several messages from his other social media handles about the scam. The Independent reached out to Turner about the situation.

 

“Change your password,” Turner said, having tried to enter back into his account, to no avail. He has also reached out to Instagram several times in order to get his account back over the last several days. Turner also voiced his concerns on his other social media accounts in order to mass report the account. A police report has been filed, but there has been little response. Given the amount of responses he received from his friends and connections, Turner speculated that the hacker might have gotten away with thousands of dollars.

 

Turner got his account back on Thursday September 1st, 2022 at 4:30pm, with him announcing so on his Instagram account. “Patience is key, and to trust the process.” He said to the Independent in response.