“Charlie is to haute hairstyle what Chanel is to haute couture.
This is Charlie R., hairstylist with fashion and film celebrities for several decades.
Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Isabelle Adjani and Catherine Deneuve, to name a few, have all been sublimated in their time by her daring scissors.
In recent years, she has received at Charlie en Particulier, in his Parisian living room, located a stone's throw from Place Vendôme and the Tuileries garden. The clients follow each other and are not alike. There are the VIPs, and then the anonymous. Both come to spend more than two good hours in his hands to be transformed and magnified. The price varies between 1,300 and 2,000 euros per meeting, clothing advice included, advertised price of rarity. But Charlie is under no illusions. Know-how is nothing without making it known.
So, for two years, the hairstylist of stars has taken to the game of Instagram.
On this social network, owned by Facebook, she broadcasts videos of her sessions that look like artistic performances.
A simple and effective concept.
Over the past few months, she has thus aggregated nearly 70,000 subscribers to her “Charlie in particular” account.
Nothing to do with the 50 million subscribers of Kylian Mbappé, but a great success for a personality little known to the general public.
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But on March 21, she says, this promotional window suddenly collapses.
That day, the hairdresser receives a message from Instagram to confirm the certification of her account, a sort of label granted by the network after a certain threshold of popularity.
But a hacker then seems to take advantage of a loophole.
In the following minutes, Charlie loses control of his work tool.
The passwords have obviously been changed.
The next day, she receives a ransom demand on her phone.
The hacker, or one of his accomplices, demands the payment of 1000 dollars (832 euros) to give him back "the keys" of "Charlie in particular".
An amount to be paid into a bank account located in Turkey.
"We harass her to force her to pay"
The account then changes its name several times and even broadcasts live videos that feature a young man.
"I am convinced that it is this little guy who is manipulating me," Charlie exasperates, wearing Dolce Gabbana leopard and cleverly unstructured brown hair.
He sends me dozens of familiar or threatening messages a day, laughs at me and ultimately never gives me back my codes ”.
On April 21, the hairdresser paid € 100 into the Turkish account.
Just in case ... No results yet.
She also lodged a complaint against X with the Paris judicial court for crimes against automated data processing systems, hacking, digital ransom and identity theft.
His non-pecuniary damage was quantified by his lawyer, Me Francesca Satta, at € 50,000 and his financial damage at € 100,000.
"A hacker and possibly a mafia network behind have arisen in Charlie's life," Me Satta analyzes.
For several weeks, she has been harassed to force her to pay a ransom.
She finds herself dispossessed of what she has patiently built thanks to her notoriety, her hard work and her artistic talent.
It is also thanks to this tool that she made most of her appointments.
Subscribers who cash in
A detail that may have attracted the attention of the pirates.
"This kind of ransom demand remains rare," said Major Marc Conraux, head of the THESEE platform, which should allow a few weeks to file a complaint online for acts of cyber fraud.
In this case, the crooks have probably spotted the economic interest that this Instagram account could represent for its owner.
Beyond the financial interest, there may be a willingness to hack other high potential accounts from that first account.
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Another explanation is emerging in the mind of Elie Haziot, founder of Mister Acquiz, digital marketing specialist. "Hackers can then try to resell the account they have just hacked, through classified ads or on the Darknet," he explains. It is not that easy to pass the milestone of 10,000 subscribers. So, when a rich account of 70,000 very real subscribers is offered for a few thousand euros, it may interest an influencer who is just starting out… ”On average, an account would be valued around 50 euros per thousand subscribers, according to SOS Followers, company specialized in the Instagram ecosystem.
“Beyond my personal case, I would like to warn about the fragility of Facebook and Instagram accounts,” concludes Charlie, the hairdresser with the hands of money. But what disappoints me the most is that these networks do nothing to help us when we encounter a problem… ”. Contacted, Facebook France claims to be doing everything to restore control of his account to Charlie and says "to tackle the problems of computer security encountered by its users".