by Lisa Vaas
“I’m walking!” squealed the adorable, 4-year-old Mighty Miss Maya, born premature and later diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, when she took her first independent steps.
“Ka-CHING!!!!” enthused one or more Instagram swindlers, who promptly swiped Maya’s photo and videos to plaster onto fake fundraising accounts.
Earlier this month, Maya’s family, the Tisdales, posted onto her Facebook page the news about the imposter accounts, along with a screen capture of one of them that had been written in Russian and featured Maya’s stolen images:
It was brought to our attention a few weeks ago that someone has been stealing Maya’s pictures and videos from our account. They have set up an account and have been using Maya’s pictures and videos to try to get donations. Obviously we are very angry and we are working to have this account shut down ASAP. We are also working on having these individuals charged with fraud for collecting money under false pretenses (a lawyer friend has reached out to us and they are working on this end of things).
Maya’s mother, Ann Tisdale, said that her family has been hacked and harassed on Instagram after a video of Maya went viral last month.
The Tisdales said that Instagram was initially unresponsive, even after they filed the appropriate take-down forms and after followers had also reported the account. After the Tisdales asked followers to comment on the post and to tag @instagram, or perhaps after they contacted the media, Instagram finally took down the account… which, unfortunately but predictably, precipitated a game of whack-a-mole as the scammer(s) put up new fake accounts as fast as Instagram took them down.
It went beyond mere imposter accounts when one fraudster tried to extort the family, Ann …
Author: Lisa Vaas