‘It’s a tough time’ - Attempted hack compounds wedding postponements for photographer

Wedding photographer Gina Manning in action Picture: Gina Manning Photography

Wedding photographer Gina Manning in action Picture: Gina Manning Photography - Credit: Gina Manning Photography

The frustration of weddings being postponed has been compounded for a Norwich photographer, after losing a host of contacts due to her social media accounts being suspended by an apparent hacking attempt.

Gina Manning, from Cringleford, is desperately trying to get her Instagram and Facebook accounts reinstated online having already had eight wedding bookings rescheduled as venues close in response to the coronavirus lockdown.

The 25-year-old awoke on Sunday morning to an email from Facebook - which also owns Instagram - suggesting her account had been hacked and that a new password needed to be created.

After being satisfied that the email was legitimate, the automated process ended with Miss Manning being locked out of her accounts with little explanation and ever since she has found the appeals process to be extremely slow and unhelpful.

Hoping to warn others of the issue, Miss Manning explained: “I’ve got an Instagram profile which I can get into, which I had set up for my dog, so I’ve hijacked his account, not that it had any following at all and I gave up on it about two years ago!

An example of Gina Manning's wedding photography Picture: Gina Manning Photography

An example of Gina Manning's wedding photography Picture: Gina Manning Photography - Credit: Gina Manning Photography

“But I knew I had some close friends on it, went on there and did a post just to say what happened, posted a story and tagged a lot of past brides, suppliers and venues, and that fortunately got a lot of people sharing it as well.

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“That then got some comments back and I got one from a hairdresser who said the exact same thing happened to her last week and she had to start afresh and that she’d given up on trying to appeal.

“So I told her to keep trying and then I had a comment from an account for a shop saying that the same had happened to them last week, that they had done the same appeal through Facebook.

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“So, I’ve shut down my Paypal (payment account), but that business used it for their advertisement through Facebook ads and the hacker had posted £1200 of adverts in their name.

“So although it’s an awful thing that Facebook have disabled my account, they did it for the safety of myself and the awful things that could have been sent.”

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In the last two years Miss Manning, who has worked as a wedding photographer for eight years, estimates between 50 and 70 percent of her enquiries have come through Instagram or Facebook.

She plans to persist with appealing for two weeks before considering setting up new accounts, adding: “Luckily with the posts being shared around I had an 180 percent increase in my website views, so as long as things like that are still happening then I’ll still get work through there.

“But obviously it’s a tough time because I’ve just had eight weddings in April, May or June which have rescheduled, so that’s me out of work for the next three months, out of a job that I love.

“It’s not just a job, it’s not only a hobby or my job, it’s a passion driven career.”

Anyone that can offer Miss Manning further advice can contact her via ginamanning.co.uk.

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