Instagram thought its boss was dead when the scammer who charged $60 per account banning service submitted an obituary that he claimed to be a victim.

Adam Mosseri’s account boasting 1,000,000 followers was’memorialized. A scammer who goes under @Syenrai pretended the 38-year old had died. 

Instagram’s memorialization function allows users to report dead account holders. The app then blocks any activity including logins.

Syenrai’s anonymous user claimed the September lock on Mosseri’s account.

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri (pictured) had his account locked and memorialized after a troll, who charges $60 for account-banning services, submitted a false obituary to the app's support team claiming the executive died

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, was locked after an intruder charged $60 to bann his account. The troll claimed that the senior executive had died.

Instagram's memorialization feature allows users to report deceased account holders and in response, the app will block any activity on the account, including log-ins

Instagram memorialization allows you to notify deceased account holders. In response, the app will ban any activity, log-ins included, on your account.

Vice reported that they find it absurd how Instagram allows such things to occur on its platform.

Although the user did not disclose their motivations for doing this, they noted that accounts are often banned or memorialized on request from customers who pay.

The average ban costs $60, and for ordinary users who are memorialized it may take days to restore their accounts. Vice reports that Mosseri’s account was down only for about an hour because he heads the app.

Syenrai stated that they will send an email to the app detailing the false death of the user in order for the account to be locked.

The death certificate, news article or obituary will be requested by Instagram. Vice heard that Syenrai and her husband created a fake online obituary before they took screenshots and replied to Instagram via email.

The scammer claimed that they would obtain an online obituary for any deceased Instagrammer, even if it was not a celebrity. The account is locked by the app’s support staff two days later.

“As long the death notice is within the same week, the target will still be remembered.” Syenrai explained that the system works 99 percent of time.

Oddly enough, the troll went on to condemn their own services, telling Vice: ‘The entire banning community needs to be discovered and reported to Instagram so they can put an end to this – it’s basically the dark side of Instagram.’

Vice was told by an Instagram spokesperson that Instagram offers online tools to allow people to report suspicious activity and to notify us of the death of a loved one.

‘Unfortunately, some people abuse these forms, so we hire investigators and cybersecurity specialists to detect scammers’ tactics so we can improve and make it increasingly difficult for them.’

A spokesperson claimed that Instagram's teams review all memorialization requests and cross-check images, names, dates of birth and a submitted obituary but scammers have evidently found cracks in the system (Mosseri speaking during the F8 Facebook Developers conference in April 2019)

According to a spokesperson, Instagram reviews all memorialization requests. The teams cross-check names and dates, and submit obituaries. But scammers discovered cracks in this system.

According to the spokesperson, the teams reviewing memorialization requests on the app cross-check photos, names, dates, and submitted obituaries. But Syenrai seems to have found flaws in the system.  

Syenrai added: ‘It’s very important to have your correct date of birth, and at least one picture of yourself archived, this helps prove you are the account owner in either instance of being memorized or being banned by someone.’

One user who offers ban-as-a-service and went by the pseudonym War told Vice back in August: ‘We have been professionally banning since 2020 and have top-tier experience. Although we may not be the most affordable, you will get what you pay for.

The sale of Instagram bans is a “full-time job,” they said, adding that they made over five figures from it. They speculated that the reason people paid for Instagram bans was because they had a grudge with their ex.

War suggested that he could ruin their businesses and get paid more through a third-party. 

A User OG forum advertisement advertised bans at a price of $5.80 to $35 depending on how many followers it had. 

Scammers also offered to recover accounts from users who claimed they had been unfairly deleted from Instagram.

Vice was told by another service provider that it cost between $3,500 to $4,000.