About the time hackers activated two-factor authentication on my Facebook account …

UPDATE: If you are experiencing this issue–and it looks like a lot of people are–I’m afraid I have no quick or easy fix to recover your Facebook account. Click here for the April 2021 update that shares what worked for me and others. Do you have a solution that’s not listed here? Let me know and I’ll add it to a future update.

This is not a blog post about travel, history, nature, or tea, although, as always, a lot of tea was consumed in the composition of it. Instead, I hope this serves as a cautionary tale about how to potentially avoid the mistakes that have seen me locked out of Facebook for over a month. While I am all in favour of digital detoxes, this is not exactly what I had in mind!

It started in mid-December with an email from Facebook saying that someone was trying to reset my password. Simple question: is this you or not? I clicked the button for “not” and was told that I didn’t have to do anything else. Whew, that was close …

Except that a few hours later I received a similar message. Again, I clicked that it wasn’t me. But something had changed: I no longer had control of the account. The hackers were in and the race was on … but it wasn’t a race I could win. While I was going through the Facebook process for securing my account and changing my password, the hackers did two things that have now made it impossible for me to log back in.

First, a long-defunct email address that I must have listed somewhere in the bowels of my Facebook settings was re-registered and all of my other email addresses were deleted. Everything now points to an address only the hackers have access to. The default recovery—sending a code to your email address—is now useless.

Second, they activated two-factor authentication. This is supposed to increase the security of a system because you need to enter a code in addition to your password. The problem occurs when, again, it points away from the account owner and to the hackers instead.

I found myself in the centre of a perfect storm of my own lax security, with hackers who had engaged in the digital equivalent of pouring glue in a lock.

“But surely,” you’re thinking, “Facebook must have a way around this!” After all, extinct email accounts, hackers, and not taking online security as seriously as we should is practically old hat by now. And Facebook is a multi-gazillion dollar company: they must have solutions, right?

And you’re not wrong: they do have systems in place.

One option seemed to be an automatic ID reader: you enter an email address you still have access to and hold up an ID to your webcam. Seems simple enough … but I tried several different forms of ID, including my passport, and every message I received said:

We can’t give you access to this account or help with your request until we receive an accepted form of ID that matches the information listed on the account.

The other choice is sending in a photograph of ID. I assumed this would be checked by an actual person and  I would be back in within a few days (or a few weeks at most—after all, this occurred just before Christmas). Dozens of ID photographs later and I still haven’t heard anything.

I took to Twitter to complain, but I discovered that using words like “Facebook”, “account”, and “hacked” in the same tweet brought with it a new problem: random accounts messaged me promising to fix the issue. It felt as sleazy as being hacked in the first place.

I investigated the problem via Facebook’s help section and discovered that the misuse of two-factor authentication in this way was not uncommon. Indeed, there are multiple threads about the exact same issue, with the exact same lack of response. The only person who seems to have found a solution is Christopher, who commented that he was able to get control of his account back only after he bought an Oculus VR device and needed to register it. But it’s not all doom and gloom: I can see that I have over a hundred notifications on the account at the moment, indicating that the hackers have been kicked out too.

Over the past month, I’ve read a lot about how you can try to get your account back after it’s been hacked, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about how to try to prevent this from happening in the first place.

First, please remember that hacking by strangers isn’t personal: it’s simply about gathering as much information as possible that can be sold on in bulk (here’s an example about Depop published just this week). For many of us, Facebook has been a part of our lives for years; in my case, probably close to fifteen. Over that time, we leave a lot of nuggets of information lying around that can be valuable to those who trade in it. Credit card used to donate to a friend’s birthday collection? Or perhaps running Facebook ads? Or maybe we just use the same password to log into Facebook as we do for other accounts? It’s all useful to someone.

Because it’s not personal, you can’t predict whether you may or may not be a target. Instead, it’s best to proactively keep an eye on your data.

  • Are your account details up to date? Remove old email addresses from your account. In particular, I recommend avoiding anything from the provider Mail.com. I originally left them over a decade ago as I found my account was getting increasingly spammy, and the fact that they allow old accounts to be re-registered by anyone is a big security issue. And, in case you’re wondering, I did contact them to try to regain control of the ancient email account: no luck.
  • Set trusted contacts: I sort of thought I had done this, but apparently not (or perhaps removed by the hackers?). As the name implies, trusted contacts are people that you trust who are given codes that you can use to get back into your account if you get locked out.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication: If you have not already done so, activate two-factor authentication using your own details. It seems like such a hassle to have to enter a code in addition to your password, but, trust me, being locked out of your account is a bigger headache!
  • Get recovery codes: You can also get a series of codes that can be used if you don’t have access to your phone.
  • Set trusted people as admins if you run Facebook groups: I am very fortunate that I do not rely on social media for my business, but I do run a handful of Facebook groups. I’m the only administrator, so this means that I have lost control of them for the time being. Whether you run a group or page for your business, community organisation, or something else, set up another admin or two so you can continue to post and engage with your audience.
  • Go through security settings (and change passwords!) on a regular basis: I think this is something we all know we should do, but often don’t. With so much of our lives spent online—especially now since face-to-face events are more or less cancelled—it’s important to make sure that we’ve done everything in our power to keep us connected.

So, what happens next? In theory, I could set up a new Facebook account, but, quite frankly, I don’t have the energy: I feel my time could be better spent on so many other things. So, for the time being, if you want to get in touch, please drop me a line via email.

UPDATE APRIL 2021:

I always expected this Royal Wedding blog post to be my most popular, but instead this one has eclipsed it by some ways. I am sorry to hear that so many people are also dealing with Facebook’s two-factor authentication problem.

If you have not already done so, please make sure you report that your account has been hacked. A friend can do this for you by selecting the […] button from your profile then going to “Find support or report profile”. They should then be able to report it as hacked. You may also want to check out this website to see if any of the suggestions work for you.

I managed to get my account back after four months of going through the process of sending in my ID. I have no secret to recovering Facebook accounts: I simply went through the recovery process every 7-10 days, selecting that I could not authorise using 2FA. This meant that I wasn’t blocked for spamming Facebook; you can probably fill out the forms more often, but it will block you if you do too many in one day.

Eventually, the automated ID reader popped up and actually read my ID properly. As I wrote in the original blog post, this initially did not work for me; I’m unsure why.

I also do not know what makes which form pop up when you go through the recovery process. In my experience, most of the time it was a standard “attach your photo ID here”  type of thing. This never worked for me, but some people have had success with it.

At present it seems like a lottery as to who is able to unlock their account and how long it takes to do so; it took me four months while others managed to get back into Facebook within a week. 

It’s always great to hear from others who have recovered their account, and these are the suggestions that have been sent to me: 

  • Ordering an Oculus device: This was mentioned in the Facebook help threads, and several others have told me they had success with it. You can read more about this in the comments.
  • Yet another form: I’ve heard from at least one person who lucked out with this one: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/183000765122339
  • Different form of ID: This successful account unlocker isn’t sure what worked, but I think her use of a different type of ID may be worth trying:

    I had to log-in through Google Chrome on my phone. When I got the Enter Code page, I clicked on “Having Trouble,” then “I don’t have my phone,” then “Contact Us.” From there, I had to enter my email address and submit ID. I had been submitting my driver’s license, but this time I submitted my marriage license. I don’t know if it was the strange form of identification that did the trick or what, but my ID was accepted and I was sent an email with the subject line “Thank you for submitting your ID.”

    The first link in the email started the loop all over again, but the second paragraph gave me a code to enter instead. I FINALLY got through and confirmed my cell phone’s web browser as a recognized browser. When the next page loaded, it said my account was locked. I had to close the page I was on, re-login to Facebook on my phone browser and I was able to go through the process of unlocking my account, which involved identifying friends and removing the hacker’s email address. 

  • App Swap: One person recovered their account using the following steps:
    I was able to changed my password and get my email added back to my account by walking through Facebook’s processes and submitting my ID. Then I was faced with 2 issues: 
     
    1. The hacker’s email address was still on my account.
    2. The hacker had turned on 2-way authentication, so there was no way for me to get the code.
     
    I deleted the app from my phone and reinstalled. When I came to the two factor verification (set by hacker), I  clicked on “I do not have my phone” then it brought me to a form where I had to enter my Facebook name, cell phone carrier, and upload my ID. I hadn’t ever received a form like this one before – it was different because it included the cell phone carrier. 
     
    Since my Facebook name is not the name on my ID, I used my Facebook name in the name box, and explained the ID name and FB name issue in the “description” box along with information of me being hacked and miraculously it worked. 
     
    After doing so, FB then responded pretty quickly with a link for me to unlock the two-step verification on the account.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have any other ways of recovering a hacked Facebook account where 2FA has been enabled, please let me know and I will update this post when possible.

Otherwise, I’m afraid I do not have any additional information beyond what is published here.

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123 Comments

  1. Anna
    March 24, 2021 / 11:06 am

    Hello!

    Just reaching out as the same thing has just happened to me a couple of days ago! It’s super distressing, and this morning they seem to be trying to get into my instagram account too. When does it end!

    How did you get the option of holding ID up to a webcam? All I’ve found is that form that you can submit a photo of your ID on- of course, I’ve had no reply. I’m also in the UK, not sure if that makes a difference in contacting them?

    I was just wondering if you ever got a reply from facebook/ managed to get back in? Like you, I have about a decade of photos on there, and also just feel really uncomfortable that a hacker still has access to my account!

    It’s reassuring to read that it’s not personal. Of course, it just feels horrible intrusive.
    x

    • March 24, 2021 / 11:28 am

      I’m so sorry this has happened to you too, Anna. I’ve just responded to you via email.

      • Taylor
        April 9, 2021 / 4:28 pm

        Hi there! The same thing happened to me and I am STRUGGLING. I run multiple facebook accounts for my clients through my personal account and am at a complete loss. If you have found a solution, please do share!

        • April 9, 2021 / 5:23 pm

          I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too, but I’m afraid I don’t have a quick solution for it. I’ve just emailed you some more information.

      • Mary Gale
        May 17, 2021 / 12:25 pm

        My Facebook account was hacked 3 days ago, and I’ve gone through all of the steps you mentioned, and no luck yet. My son is graduating high school soon, and I need my pictures from Facebook! Any help is so appreciated!

        • May 17, 2021 / 12:49 pm

          I’m afraid I have no other information than what is posted here. It took me four months to get my account back after submitting my ID photo every 7-10 days; other people have successfully retrieved their account much faster, but there is no rhyme or reason as to why.

      • Robert Smith
        June 18, 2021 / 7:49 pm

        Been dealing with it for weeks with no response ugh picture games on the quest

    • Clarissa Colondo
      May 24, 2021 / 1:37 pm

      I am going through the same thing! I have been locked out of my account for a little over a month now with no luck. I have tried submitting my ID and multiple forms without any luck…I have decades worth of pictures on there and don’t want to give up possibly losing my account. If you find any other solution please let me know! Thank you for this post!!

      • May 24, 2021 / 10:23 pm

        I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too. My main recommendation at the moment is to keep trying to submit your ID; it took me four months but I did manage to get my account back. You can also try using different forms of ID, which worked for one person. Good luck!

  2. Andrew Rurak
    March 27, 2021 / 3:16 pm

    Did you end up regaining access? I am having the exact same issue. I am unable to even submit ID as my account is been flagged as a spammer. Very frustrating.

    • March 27, 2021 / 3:38 pm

      I’m afraid I haven’t been able to regain access yet, Andrew, but I have just sent you some information. I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this problem too.

  3. Racheed
    April 7, 2021 / 2:53 am

    The exact same thing happened to me on March 25th and I’ve been trying since to regain access to my Facebook but no response. I’ve sent them my ID and filled out the form at least 10 times and still no response. Have you had any success getting back access?

    • April 7, 2021 / 11:33 am

      I’m afraid I haven’t been able to gain access yet, but I have just emailed you with more information.

      • Racheed
        April 20, 2021 / 3:26 am

        After a month of submitting my ID to Facebook over and over, they finally emailed me back and I finally regained access to my account.

        • April 20, 2021 / 8:57 am

          That’s great to hear! Thanks for letting me know!

        • Shellly
          April 24, 2021 / 10:44 am

          Hi, which way did you submit your ID etc? As in, which form?
          My account was hacked and 2-factor authentication was enabled so I cannot receive any codes to log into my account on any of my devices

          They changed the email and phone number associated with my account, and enabled two factor authentication under their phone number.
          I have been able to change the email back to mine, and have changed my password, but to fully access my account I need to enter a code from the Code Generator.
          The only way to access this code is either from in the account already, or from a third party app- which they hooked up to their phone number.

          There is literally no way for me to get this code to re-enter my account, and I have no idea what to do.
          I have tried to contact Facebook many times through emails and submitting forms and I have had no response.

          You’re the first person I’ve seen who has regained access! Please help xx

          • Rachael Hutton
            May 21, 2021 / 3:15 pm

            Shelley, hope you don’t mind me asking but how did you manage to change the email back ?

      • Dana poe
        May 1, 2021 / 3:41 am

        Hi Elaine, I’m so glad I ran across your blog because I’ve been locked out of my Facebook for a week now and every single thing you listed was exactly what has happened including the hacker adding the two factor authentication. Before reading your article, I felt alone and losing hope and really did not want to start a new Facebook page because of all of the pictures and memories on my original one. This article and comments gives me a tiny bit of hope that I may get it back. If you could please send me any more info that would be greatly appreciated. I feel so disconnected from everyone!

        • May 1, 2021 / 2:50 pm

          You’re definitely not alone in dealing with this problem! I’ve just sent you an email.

  4. Liza
    April 9, 2021 / 7:34 am

    there is definitely wide attack going on, I was caught on 4th April, and so far nothing from facebook other than they have now locked my account. Driving me insane as the 2FA “more help” page seems broken too.

    Looks like you’re still stuck too.

    • April 9, 2021 / 5:25 pm

      Yep, still off Facebook due to the two-factor authentication activation and there’s been no response to any of the ID photos/scans I’ve sent it. In speaking with tech people I know, they say that Facebook intentionally makes it hard to get in touch with a real person and that the only solutions they can think of are: 1) find someone who works at Facebook, or 2) kick up a media fuss. I’ve been trying to do both without much luck yet!

  5. Jennifer Smith
    April 9, 2021 / 6:16 pm

    Hello!
    Have you come across any solution to this yet? I’ve been dealing with it now for two weeks. I am starting to lose hope. It is beyond frustrating.

    • April 9, 2021 / 6:20 pm

      I’m afraid I haven’t had any luck getting to the bottom of this despite dozens of ID photos/scans sent to Facebook. I have just emailed you with further details.

  6. Lea
    April 13, 2021 / 8:49 pm

    Hello,

    Same issue here 😢 Have you gaint access to your account yet ?

    Many thanks!

    • April 13, 2021 / 9:09 pm

      I’m afraid I haven’t been able to access the account yet, but I have just emailed you with some more information.

  7. John
    April 14, 2021 / 9:18 am

    My account was hacked today. I just order an oculus to see if that works. I will keep in touch with you guys.

    • April 15, 2021 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks! I’m curious to hear if others have been able to get access to their accounts.

  8. Alex
    April 14, 2021 / 3:49 pm

    I have exactly the same problem! So very annoying! I have managed to change my password using the trusted contacts method but cannot get in to my account due to the two factor authentication. Even the trusted contacts method doesn’t seem to work properly as it always says I will get an email within 30 minutes telling me how to continue the process – and the email never arrives.
    I would love some more info too! There must be many thousands of people having the same issue judging by the number of posts about this on the internet – perhaps a collective action would make some impact if it could get some attention?
    Thank you for posting about this! 🙏🏻

    • April 15, 2021 / 2:46 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too; I have just sent you a follow-up email with more info.

      • Jill
        May 12, 2021 / 8:35 pm

        Same here!!

  9. Liz
    April 15, 2021 / 6:19 pm

    I was hacked yesterday. 😞 I’m also flooding Facebook with messages and forms. I’m half tempted to try the Oculus trick if it actually works!

    • April 16, 2021 / 1:38 pm

      I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this at the moment; I have just sent you an email.

      • Liz
        April 17, 2021 / 2:47 pm

        Well, I caved and bought an Oculus. I reached out to their support team so we’ll see what happens. I’m cautiously optimistic.

          • Ellen Bakker
            May 25, 2021 / 11:13 pm

            I’ve also just ordered a Oculus -_-, this is ridiculous . Ill keep you updated as well!

      • Liz
        April 17, 2021 / 7:45 pm

        OMG. It worked!!!!!!!! After picking up an Oculus, I reached out their support and told them the issue. The rep told me she would send a message to Facebook on my behalf and I would get an email from them. Within an hour I was back in my account. I’m so excited I could cry! Now to return the oculus.

        • Jennifer Smith
          April 18, 2021 / 12:11 am

          I’m so tempted to do this!!!

          • Liz
            April 18, 2021 / 1:46 pm

            I’m seriously shocked it worked.

          • Meghan Bourcier
            May 13, 2021 / 3:29 pm

            OMG did the Oculus really work?

        • Shaks
          April 18, 2021 / 3:18 am

          Can you tell us what exactly you told the Oculus people. My family already has 2 Oculus Go devices and just bought a Quest for my nephew in March. What do we have to do to regain access to Facebook because I have the same issue as all of you: randomly locked out. Rest password. But have 2 step authentication all of a sudden.

          • April 18, 2021 / 9:49 am

            I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this too. My understanding from the Facebook help forums is that the person who used an Oculus to get his account back registered a new device because they require a Facebook account to connect. I’m not sure how it works with existing accounts.

          • Liz
            April 18, 2021 / 1:45 pm

            I submitted a help ticket for setting up a new device. I included this in my ticket.

            I just purchased an Oculus Quest 2. The problem I’m having is that my Facebook account has been hacked and I cannot connect my Facebook account to my new device. I cannot get past the two-factor authentication the hacker set up. I have also reached out to Facebook directly and submitted my ID to prove my identity. I purchased the device from Target but can provide the serial number. Please help so I can get my new Quest up and running.

            I received an automatic message asking for more information including a serial number of the Oculus. Then someone got in contact with me and said they would send a message to Facebook on my behalf.

            Luckily the serial number is on the outside of the box so I didn’t have to open it. I didn’t register it or make an account.

        • Ana
          April 20, 2021 / 7:07 pm

          Elaine , thank you for talking about this. It happened to me recently as well. Please provide me with any additional information you may have? I have lost track of the amount of forms I have submitted. Not including the ones that do not go through and give me an error.

          Liz, can we exchange more information on how to contact oculus? After you get the product, where is the contact information? Also, which product did you get? They all seem pricey. Any more advice?

          • April 20, 2021 / 10:45 pm

            I’ve just sent you an email with some information that may be useful, and I’ll try to update the blog post ASAP.

          • Liz
            April 21, 2021 / 2:25 pm

            On the Oculus website there is a support section. I submitted a ticket explaining how I could not connect my Oculus to Facebook because my account was hacked. I purchased the Oculus Quest. Because I did not need to open it, I plan to return it.

        • Mark
          May 16, 2021 / 2:03 am

          I tried your suggestion and it worked for me, too! Thanks for posting this!

          • May 16, 2021 / 3:43 pm

            Great, I’m glad things worked out!

  10. Alyssa
    April 16, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    I have this problem as well! So frustrating and ridiculous that a platform this big has absolutely NO support. Have you heard of anyone having any luck with this besides ordering the Oculus?

    • April 16, 2021 / 1:39 pm

      Unfortunately, the lack of support seems to be deliberate; I have just sent you an email with further information.

  11. Ian
    April 17, 2021 / 2:53 am

    Add me to the list. Exact same problem

    • Shelly
      April 24, 2021 / 10:50 am

      me too please x

  12. Bradley
    April 19, 2021 / 5:48 pm

    I woke up this morning with the exact same issue. It is disheartening to see so many others with the same problem. I was able to upload my ID, re-add my email that the hacker took off, and add my phone number again. The hackers email is still listed under recovery options. (WHY?!?!) How can their recovery process include authenticating when you didn’t add the authenticator???

    Like most others, I have 10 years of memories and pictures that I don’t want to lose.

  13. Cheryl
    April 20, 2021 / 3:01 pm

    I have the same issue. Two factor authentication set up by a hacker, so I cannot access my facebook account

    • April 20, 2021 / 4:10 pm

      So sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too; I’ve just sent you an email about it.

      • Meghan Bourcier
        May 13, 2021 / 3:31 pm

        Can you please help and send me info as well the same thing happened to me!

        • May 13, 2021 / 3:38 pm

          An email has been sent, but I’m afraid that I have nothing new to add: all of the current information is in the blog update.

    • Jamie
      May 4, 2021 / 2:58 pm

      Can you send me the info too? I am getting so frustrated.

  14. Cortney
    April 22, 2021 / 4:08 pm

    I’m having the same problem. Just purchased on Oculus to give that route a try. The hacker set up 2FA and I’ve sent my ID in a few times. One time I received the email from Facebook to reset it, but then it told me I “tried too many codes. Try again later.” I’ve been trying for a week.

    • April 24, 2021 / 10:01 am

      Please keep us posted as to whether the Oculus works for you. I’ve just sent you an email with more info.

      • Cortney
        April 29, 2021 / 7:54 pm

        The Oculus trick worked! It took a few days to get Facebook to send me a message, but Oculus support was phenomenal at helping the process along. I did need to reply to Facebook’s email with some more information, but 24 hours later they sent me instructions, and it worked!! Phew!!

        • April 29, 2021 / 8:10 pm

          Congratulations, that’s great to hear! It certainly sounds much faster than my four months of filling out random forms!

  15. Kristen
    April 23, 2021 / 2:27 am

    Hi. Im.having the same issue. I was able to get my email back on my accountusing my ID. I reset my password and received an email confirming my password reset but it’s requiring the 2FA to log back in with the new password. The hackers removed my phone number so I have zero ways to get the code. Has anyone made any headway? My kids FB messengers are attached to my FB so now I can’t text with my kids when they’re not with me.

    • April 24, 2021 / 9:57 am

      At the moment it appears to be a lottery as to who gets back in; a few people have succeeded using the forms or other techniques, but it appears that most are still locked out. I have just sent you an email with more information.

  16. Melissa
    April 24, 2021 / 4:00 am

    I had the same thing happen to me yesterday. I just had a baby after a difficult c-section and then my baby was in the NICU. We were using Facebook to update our family and friends about our health. I’ve sent a photo of my ID to Facebook and was able to be allowed to reset my password, but I keep getting stuck at the six-digit code that the hacker set up. I can’t believe there isn’t any way of resetting or removing the code. I sent two messages to Facebook about how I was having trouble logging in due to security checks, but I haven’t heard anything back. I would make a new account if not for over a decade’s worth of contacts and memories attached to that account. My entire relationship with my husband is documented via our posts. We check the memories every day together and we’re always reminded of something we forgot. My account isn’t even showing up anymore so the posts I’ve made over the years aren’t even coming up for my husband. Our extended family can’t see pictures of the baby.

    • April 24, 2021 / 9:58 am

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this. I’ve just sent you an email with more information.

      • Christina Littlejohn
        April 26, 2021 / 2:42 pm

        My Facebook account was hacked. They changed my phone number and added a two step verification. Is there any way to get back into my account? Please advise. Thank you.

        • April 26, 2021 / 6:43 pm

          An email has been sent to you with a bit more info, but I’m afraid it’s a bit of a lottery as to who is getting back into their account at the moment.

          • Joe
            May 1, 2021 / 4:34 pm

            Can you please send me the email as well to get out of this issue?

          • May 1, 2021 / 6:46 pm

            I have emailed you the update, but I’m afraid I haven’t heard of any guaranteed ways of recovering an account.

  17. Faye
    April 24, 2021 / 10:40 am

    Same issue! Please help!

  18. Bob Lehmann
    April 24, 2021 / 3:31 pm

    Same issue. Someone changed my password and set-up 2FA. I cannot access my account. If you have additional information, that would be great.

  19. Kam
    April 26, 2021 / 1:50 pm

    I’m dealing with the same issue. I was able to reset my password, but can’t get past the 2FA. Can you please send me the email with additional info as well?

    • April 26, 2021 / 6:46 pm

      An email has been sent with more info. The main advice I can give at the moment is to select that you cannot access the 2FA; that will bring up either a standard form that you can attach an ID photo to or an automated ID reader. I was just able to get back into my account after 4 months once the ID reader popped up, but I’m afraid there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when it shows up.

      • Meghan Bourcier
        May 13, 2021 / 3:32 pm

        Hi Elaine can you please email me? I am locked out of my account due to being hacked and would love some tips.

  20. Shelly
    April 26, 2021 / 6:10 pm

    Has anyone had a breakthrough? *cry*

    • April 26, 2021 / 6:35 pm

      I just got my account back over the weekend after four months of sending in ID photos. I wish I could say there was a secret, but I just went through the usual process I’ve been following every 7-10 days: I attempted to log in and selected unable to authorise when it brought up the 2FA option. Instead of the usual “submit your ID” form, there was an automated ID checker. I’d dealt with it months ago, but it never properly read my ID. This time it actually worked and I had a link from Facebook emailed to my correct address within 30 minutes. From there, I was able to log in and change the security settings. I suspect that this automated ID reader is still being tested, which is why it comes up only occasionally. It would also explain why only a few people have been able to get back in so far. All I can recommend is to keep trying; I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

      • Alex
        April 28, 2021 / 9:57 am

        Good to hear you got your account back – unfortunately I have submitted exactly the form you are talking about several times and have had no response at all 🙁

        • April 29, 2021 / 8:14 pm

          I’m so sorry to hear that. If you’re getting the message “We can’t give you access to this account or help with your request until we receive an accepted form of ID that matches the information listed on the account.” from the automated ID reader (which I constantly did back in December/January), my only suggestion is to make sure you have plenty of light on the ID so it’s as clear as possible. Otherwise, you may want to try this form (I’ve heard from one person who’s had success with it): https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/183000765122339

  21. Michelle
    April 28, 2021 / 12:30 am

    Can you send me how you did this? My husband got hacked an uninstalled then reinstalled but no luck

    • April 28, 2021 / 9:52 am

      I just got my account back a few days ago after four months of sending in ID photos. I wish I could say there was a secret, but I just went through the usual process I’ve been following every 7-10 days: I attempted to log in and selected unable to authorise when it brought up the 2FA option. Instead of the usual “submit your ID” form, there was an automated ID checker. I’d dealt with it months ago, but it never properly read my ID. This time it actually worked and I had a link from Facebook emailed to my correct address within 30 minutes. From there, I was able to log in and change the security settings. I suspect that this automated ID reader is still being tested, which is why it comes up only occasionally. It would also explain why only a few people have been able to get back in so far. All I can recommend is to keep trying; I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  22. Alyssa
    May 1, 2021 / 3:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, my Account was hacked last week and I am feeling so helpless! It seams silly to be so upset about Facebook but I have had my account for almost 15 years and this is how I stay connected to family that I haven’t been seeing through the pandemic. Everything you said is what is happening to me, I am slightly more hopeful seeing you have regained access to your account. But still feeling so defeated seeing as every time I feel out the form for help with my ID it tells me it can’t be sent. I feel as if I have been wasting my time all week filling out forms that aren’t even being sent to anyone. I even attempted the Oculus approach and that got me no where. If you have anymore information would you mind sharing. Thanks for al the info you shared already,

    • May 1, 2021 / 3:44 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this too; I’ve just emailed you.

      • Desiree
        May 5, 2021 / 8:28 pm

        I’m in the same boat! Part of me is like oh well it’s just facebook, but I do keep in contact with so many people and to try to start a new one sounds awful! I have been trying to do this every morning. Should I wait 7-10 days? Thank you for you help!

        • May 5, 2021 / 8:58 pm

          I’m afraid there’s no rhyme or reason (at least none that I can figure out!) as to why some people are unable to unlock their account relatively quickly and some cannot. I just went through the recovery process every 7-10 days because I didn’t particularly feel like putting in a lot of time and effort after the first month. However, some people go through the recovery process daily; it’s completely up to you. I just recommend not doing too many times on the same day as it seems that can potentially get the account flagged for spam. Good luck!

          • Kurnedious Rogers
            May 25, 2021 / 9:36 pm

            Do you think it would hurt to do the forms every couple of days instead of each week?

          • May 26, 2021 / 8:55 am

            I’m not sure if there’s an ideal timescale. I just did it weekly because I couldn’t be bothered doing it more regularly (after the first month, my expectations were quite low). I think the main thing is not to spam Facebook with multiple messages a day, so you could try filling out a form every day or every other day.

  23. May 1, 2021 / 6:54 pm

    If you are dealing with a hacked Facebook account and 2FA authentication issues, please see the April update posted at the end of the blog post. I’m afraid I do not have any additional information beyond what I’ve posted there.

  24. Petar Tica
    May 3, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    Hi,

    I am trying to recover my partner’s account, we luckily have got to the part where it verifies her ID, but of course, even after changing the password, we can get no further due to 2FA being set up on the account.

    One thing I am trying (and waiting for the results for now) is this page:
    https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/179049432194862?id=179049432194862
    It seems like it is tailor made for people in this situation. I’ll let you know how it goes, but if you have extra information about all this, that would be great, thank you!

  25. Jason
    May 6, 2021 / 4:23 pm

    If only there was a way for Facebok to add an option on requesting a QR Authenication setup code to the user’s primary email address. That way, when the QR code in the email on a desktop computer is scanned to an Authentication app, you get the 6 digit code and you log into Facebook and this problem would be solved and there would be fewer complaints to this service.

  26. Fran
    May 6, 2021 / 4:29 pm

    I was hacked last week as well, same 2FA issue. I even purchased the oculus but their support team is useless. I’m sad to say all my memories of 10+ years seem to be gone.

  27. Mike
    May 10, 2021 / 1:55 pm

    Just an update. I finally got my facebook. Dont spam the fb. File the form once a week and wait another week if there’s no progress. I noticed if you keep applying the form there will be no pop message from fb that they received the form. What I did is stopped applying the form for a week then when I apply again it shows the pop up message. After 2 days fb reply. I did try the oculus but they will help until in a certain point they no longer can because they don’t have control on FB. Basically oculus will also going to email the fb. File up the form log in issue, you no longer have access to the email and phone, and identification. Thats the only thing you need. Dont spam and wait. My fb got hacked because of the live stream I did in my phone. . Basically, while i am doing live stream the hackers send a message requesting to access my fb. The message pop up while i am live stream.. And boom they got the code. Simple tactics but effective.

    • May 10, 2021 / 1:57 pm

      I’m glad to hear that you got your account back, and thanks for sharing how you got back in.

    • Alyssa
      May 11, 2021 / 3:00 pm

      Hi, I’m just wondering what form you are filling out. Is it the “need help” after it says you need a code? Or a different one? Every time I feel out the need help form it tells me it could not be sent weather I do it multiple times a day, or wait a week in between trying. I’m feeling like no mater what I’m doing to try to get it back nothing will be resolved as it always tells me my form can’t be submitted!

      • Mike
        May 11, 2021 / 3:12 pm

        You cant access your fb because you dont have the code? You have to click you no longer have access to tel number. You have to fill up the form about you tel. provider and you have to submit an ID. Dont spam.. Just wait.

        • Mike
          May 11, 2021 / 3:20 pm

          I was following the hackers trail. What they do is they hijack the fb account and make it their own. They dont care about the information. They basically use it to post some random stuff. All of the people commented from the hackers post are all hacked fb account. Check this fb account. They changed primary pic and name. But if you look at the url and photos.. Its from the other guy. They have their own trade mark pic. I guess thats how they know who hacked the fb account. I asked my friend to translate what they are saying. Most of it i just rubbish letters, like these “eiryieodjd”. Weird huh. https://www.facebook.com/chase.colvin1

      • May 11, 2021 / 3:34 pm

        I can’t remember the exact wording, but I think there’s a link saying something like “Can’t authenticate?” on the initial page requesting 2FA when you try to log in. This brought up either a basic form (name, mobile carrier, attach ID photo) or an automated ID reader when I accessed it on my laptop. I tried a few times on my mobile phone, but I could never send anything through it, so if you haven’t tried from a laptop or desktop, you may want to give that a go. As Mike wrote, you might also be given the option somewhere that says “Cannot access telephone”.

  28. Desiree
    May 10, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Hello!

    I wanted to update as well. I cleared out my settings in my computer after waiting a couple days and then clicked forgot password. It walked me through the steps and when I got to code generator. I clicked I don’t have access to this. It asked for my ID. This time I didn’t get an immediate response from FB about my ID. About 24 hours later I got an email with the info I needed to get back in. Like the other commenter, be patient and it will happen!

  29. Desiree
    May 10, 2021 / 2:38 pm

    Hello!

    I wanted to update as well. I cleared out my settings in my computer after waiting a couple days and then clicked forgot password. It walked me through the steps and when I got to code generator. I clicked I don’t have access to this. It asked for my ID. This time I didn’t get an immediate response from FB about my ID. About 24 hours later I got an email with the info I needed to get back in. Like the other commenter, be patient and it will happen!

    • May 10, 2021 / 2:42 pm

      Fantastic! I’m so glad to hear that you were able to get your account back!

  30. Mike
    May 11, 2021 / 3:33 pm

    https://www.facebook.com/chase.colvin1

    So, I was following the hackers trail. So basically, what they do is they hijack a FB account and make it their own. They changed the name and primary pic and use it to post random stuff. Check that url.. Thats not their own account. Check the photos and url. And also those people who liked and commented in the hackers post are all hacked fb. They also have trade mark pic so they know who hacked the fb account. Weird…

  31. May 13, 2021 / 3:41 pm

    PLEASE NOTE: There is no need to request an email — all of the information I currently have is in the blog update, and I will keep it updated if I hear of any further ways to recover accounts.

  32. Mike
    May 13, 2021 / 7:46 pm

    Is anyone having trouble actually submitting the forms. The one accessed via “Need another way to authenticate” just spins saying submitting ID and never finishes (tried multiple browsers and laptops). On my phone I get an error saying failed to submit try again?

    all very frustrating!

    • May 14, 2021 / 8:28 am

      I had problems submitting the form on my phone, but it worked most of the time on my computer. All I can recommend is to give it a few days without doing anything and keep trying. Good luck!

  33. Alex
    May 14, 2021 / 3:12 pm

    To add my final word on the issue – I am now back in my account after just over a month. What a shoddy operation Facebook is – I will be deleting most of the content of my account now I know how easily it can apparently fall into the wrong hands with no good course of recovery offered by Facebook.
    The solution, as it worked for me: Oculus!
    I filled in every help form I could find on Facebook and also the ID verification forms that pop up when you try and log in – for me, none of this had any effect. Most of the time I would just get error messages – the rest seemed to go nowhere.
    So I bought an Oculus on Amazon (later returned for a refund) and submitted a ticket request to them with the Oculus serial number. Whether you even need a serial number or not I do not know – you could just submit the support ticket without it and see what happens, too.

    The difference is, that Oculus support is responsive and can contact Facebook support for you and when they do, something actually happens. I got emails from Facebook to the recovery email I gave to Oculus support just hours after Oculus said they had passed the matter on.
    It was not straightforward after this, though – for a while the two factor authentication remained stuck on, Facebook stopped responding to messages, then a week later sent another recovery code and still I do not know whether they changed something or if it was from logging in from my laptop browser that finally made it work. Be aware that the log in procedure seems to be 3 different processes, depending on whether you try from the app, a mobile browser, or a computer browser – so try them all!

    • Meghan Bourcier
      May 14, 2021 / 3:34 pm

      What Oculus did you order?

    • May 14, 2021 / 4:08 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that you were able to get your account back! Thanks for sharing this for others.

    • Rocky
      May 26, 2021 / 8:20 pm

      Was the email address from facebook long and looked suspicious. I got an email from this info++aazrrfqn6ri4k3@support.facebook.com. just seems like a scam email but they emailed me to an alternative email address that I gave to oculus customer service.

  34. George
    May 15, 2021 / 6:33 am

    Hello i have got the same problem can you please send me email with more info how you fix this two factor disaster? Thank you

    • May 15, 2021 / 1:07 pm

      I’m afraid there is no easy or quick fix; all of the information that I have is in the April update of the blog post. Good luck!

  35. Herb Frake
    May 21, 2021 / 11:38 am

    My Facebook account was hacked. They changed my phone number and added a two step verification. Is there any way to get back into my account? Please advise. Thank you.

    • May 21, 2021 / 3:28 pm

      I’m afraid I have no advice other than what is listed in the blog post and its update. If you haven’t already, please go through the recovery process to indicate that your account has been hacked, or have a friend report your account as hacked: they need to go to your page, click the […] button, and then go through the “report profile” option. Then when the 2FA option comes up when you try to sign in, you need to select that you do not have access to it, and start the process of submitting an image of your ID. Some people have managed to get back into their account in a week; it took me four months before it worked. Otherwise, purchasing an Oculus device seems to work most often. Good luck!

  36. Rachael Hutton
    May 21, 2021 / 3:07 pm

    So pleased to come across your site as feeling really alone and frustrated. I am locked out of my facebook site and whilst they accepted my ID and I got the recovery email you got, I couldn’t complete the process because it it kept saying my account was locked – ended up sending my id again hoping that I will get another email.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    • May 21, 2021 / 3:20 pm

      If you can get back into your account at all via a recovery email from Facebook, and you’re able to change your passwords and security settings to point to you, you may have to use a different email address. I ran into the problem that it wouldn’t let use my primary account (the one originally registered with Facebook), so I added one of my secondary addresses to the account.

  37. Rocky
    May 25, 2021 / 3:10 am

    Trying the Oculus method. Fingers crossed. Thank you for this website.

      • Kurnedious Rogers
        May 25, 2021 / 9:11 pm

        Could you let me know if the oculus method works for you?

  38. Kurnedious Rogers
    May 25, 2021 / 9:14 pm

    Hello. I’m going through this same very thing unfortunately and I want my Facebook back. I’ve had it so many years and do not want to start over.

    Can someone help me out by telling me what oculus you have to purchase?

    Also the steps after purchasing.

  39. Ellen Bakker
    May 25, 2021 / 11:26 pm

    I’ve also just ordered a Oculus -_-, this is ridiculous . Ill keep you updated as well!

  40. Kurnedious Rogers
    May 26, 2021 / 9:25 pm

    So I purchased the oculus however I ended up not needing to and will return it. I was locked out of my account on May 23 and I was able to get back into my account today which is May 26. I just kept uploading my ID and I uploaded my Visa card once. I’m not sure which one made it work but thankfully I’m back in.

  41. Anne Bennett
    June 8, 2021 / 7:47 pm

    Same thing has happened me 😥 seems like my old Yahoo account was involved in a data breach so hackers were able to change everything and deactivate my facebook. This happened yesterday so have been trying everywhere but seem to be going round in circles to no avail. Keeping positive thoughts that I can get it resolved but facebook customer service is juat awful. Have started bombarding them on twitter and even instagram for help.

    • June 8, 2021 / 9:10 pm

      I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you too. I’m afraid there’s no quick solution, and please be careful about what you post on Twitter/Instagram as a lot of people will probably respond that they can get you back in for a fee. I have no idea how valid this is or whether it’s a scam. It took me four months to get my account back after regularly submitting the recovery form, others have had success with buying (then returning) an Oculus, and other suggestions are listed in the blog post.

  42. Nikhila
    June 11, 2021 / 12:16 am

    Hi Elaine. Same thing happened to me. But after I uploaded my ID, I did receive a response from Facebook but even after I went through all their account recovery steps it asks for the 2FA code which I do not receive. Which form were you filling ever 7-10 days? Please help me.

    • June 11, 2021 / 9:05 am

      I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with this too. There should be a link somewhere on the 2FA page that says something like “unable to access code”, but I’m afraid I can’t point you to the form I used as it automatically came up when I tried to sign in. Now that the account is unlocked, I can’t access the page. You can try this one if you haven’t already: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/183000765122339

      Alternatively, if you haven’t already tried this, you may want to have a friend report your account as hacked and see if that generates a new way of getting back in for you.

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