Hackers steal sick Turkish boy’s Instagram account, collect donation money
Hackers have stolen and attempted to exploit an Instagram account intended to attract donations for the treatment of an SMA patient toddler in Istanbul.
“I received a notification saying I had been logged out of my account, I couldn’t understand why. Then a post saying ‘Tunahan needs an account with more followers. Help spread the word, we need to reach to 50,000 followers,’ was shared on the stolen account,” Tuğba Şenyurt, the mother of Tunahan Şenyurt, told daily Milliyet on Oct. 2.
Hackers seeking to profit from the sick boy’s account, “tunahanyürüsün” (Let Tunahan walk), changed the bank account information written on the page, which has over 2,000 followers.
Tunahan is diagnosed with Type-2 SMA disease and when he was nine-months old doctors said would only live up to two years old, can reportedly only be treated with a drug licensed in the United States.
The family launched a public campaign, with official approval, on Aug. 10 in order to purchase the first dose of the drug. Of the 2 million Turkish Liras need to access the treatment, only 380,000 liras was collected before the Instagram account was stolen in early October.
“The bank account information belonging to the hackers was blocked following a criminal complaint and we now have a new page called ‘tunahanacanver,’ [Give life to Tunahan],” Şenyurt said.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy, known by the initials SMA, is a genetic muscle disorder that causes limbs to weaken, and is caused by a lack of command coming from the spinal cells responsible for muscular movement in the body.