- A TikTok creator said she inadvertently touted a scam before her Instagram page was hacked.
- Dolores Cachola-Tapia has over 1.3 million followers under the handle @doloresdaexplorer.
- Cachola-Tapia told CBS News 8 that the hackers messaged her followers saying she had been kidnapped.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A TikTok influencer said she inadvertently touted an investment scam before hackers falsely told followers she was kidnapped.
Dolores Cachola-Tapia, an influencer from Hawaii with over 1.3 million followers on TikTok (@doloresdaexplorer), said in a TikTok video on Tuesday that her Instagram was hacked after she received a message from a friend asking her to make a testimonial video for an investment opportunity.
The 19-year-old said that when she received the message on Sunday, she didn't know that her friend's account had been hacked, she reportedly told CBS News 8.
"I somehow invested $1,000 and I got $10,000 back," Cachola-Tapia said in the promotional video, according to a purported screen-recording of the Instagram testimonial video shared by CBS News 8. Insider was unable to obtain the original testimonial video.
Cachola-Tapia told CBS News 8 that after making the video, the friend's account asked her to add an email address to her Instagram account's profile. Just three minutes after adding the email, Cachola-Tapia reportedly told CBS News 8, her "account was taken over."
In her TikTok video, Cachola-Tapia shared a screenshot of what she said was the email address, with the name associated with the email listed as "Forex Trade" on Gmail. Forex trading — trading foreign currencies — is legal in the US and makes up the largest financial market in the world, according to U.S. News and World Report. But what Cachola-Tapia said she inadvertently promoted on Instagram appeared to be a forex scam, or fraudulently trading foreign currencies, which can come in a variety of forms, including "robot scams," which involve scammers promising that automated computer processes can generate wealth for people.
Cachola-Tapia told CBS News 8 that the hackers said they would give her the account back for $500 and sent messages to all of her followers requesting money and falsely saying that Cachola-Tapia had been kidnapped.
One of her followers paid $300 to the hackers, Cachola-Tapia said, according to CBS News 8.
In her TikTok video, Cachola-Tapia said she posted the Instagram testimonial video because she knew her friend was involved in stock trading. She didn't "think much on it" because she had done this sort of thing many times before to help friends' businesses, she wrote in an on-screen caption.
Cachola-Tapia has almost 7,000 followers on a private Instagram page, where she uses the same handle as her TikTok. On TikTok, she is known for making comedy skits and videos showing her life in Hawaii.
Meta (formerly Facebook), which owns Instagram, is working to help Cachola-Tapia regain access to her Instagram account, according to CBS News 8.
Instagram and Cachola-Tapia did not respond to requests for comment.