Received a text from the number 32665 regarding your Instagram account and you’re wondering if this message is actually from Instagram, or from some scammer? Well, it turns out that the answer is quite complicated – as texts from this number can both be completely valid and an elaborate phishing attempt.
Who owns the 32665 number?
The owner of the 32665 SMS shortcode is actually Facebook (and thus, Instagram). Nowadays, the company is named Meta, but the phone number is still under their ownership. You can verify this by checking their support website:
32665 was mostly used in the past as a way to receive updates and post status updates on your wall via text message. It was particularly useful a decade ago when the use of mobile data was not widespread.
Nowadays, we couldn’t imagine going out the door without a 4G LTE or 5G connection, but back in the early Facebook days, a lot was done over text.
And if you dial the digits of 32665 on an ‘old’ phone, you can actually decode the number’s meaning in the phone alphabet: 3 corresponds to F, 2 corresponds to B, 6 corresponds to O, and, well, you get the picture.
32665 in the phone alphabet spells out FBOOK.
In short, yes – Instagram (or its mother company, Facebook/Meta) does own the 32665 number. If you get texts from them, it may very well be a valid number.
Messages are being sent from this number in regards to Facebook SMS updates, but it is also occasionally used for password reset prompts on Instagram as well.
Is 32665 used to reset your password on Instagram?
There are numerous people on the internet reporting the use of “32665” as the legitimate password reset SMS number. Just check this post on Reddit by /u/NJ_Mets_Fan, for example:
A lot of people on Twitter also confirm that this number is being used to deliver (legitimate) password request forms if you’ve forgotten it for your Instagram account.
Here’s another example:
UPDATE: got back into my instagram account thanks to my honey @lunartay’s help! turns out i had instagram’s number (32665) that they send the account recovery code from blocked. So i unblocked it and then i was able to get the code and get back in
— Dance Gavin Degraw (@JoshySinger) August 8, 2022
However – that does not mean all texts from 32665 are safe. It turns out that the phone number has actually been compromised by hackers as well.
Do scammers also use 32665 for Instagram phishing?
Unfortunately, receiving a text from 32665 isn’t always safe. It appears that the number has actually been compromised by hackers and scammers through a process called spoofing – making you believe that you’re receiving a text from the official Facebook/Instagram number, but this isn’t true at all.
Scammers have realized that Facebook and Instagram have used the 32665 number before, which makes it sound reliable in the eyes of a lot of users. Unfortunately, scammers who send messages with this text number are only interested in gaining access to your Instagram account.
If you’ve received a message that says “tap to get back to your Instagram account”, it’s a scam.
You don’t have to take our word for it – just look at what Trend Micro has to say about it, a global cybersecurity and anti-virus company:
⚠️#Instagram Text Scam⚠️
Don't open any random texts that say "Tap to get back into your Instagram"!
✅Check if links are safe using #TrendMicroCheck: https://t.co/pRQfe15stB#cybersecurity #dataprotection #privacy #infosec #scam #security #CyberThreat #StaySafe #SocialMedia pic.twitter.com/Am9gsfJQ9R
— Trend Micro Home (@TrendMicroHome) May 14, 2021
And we have to admit – it’s a pretty well-thought-out scam as well. Underneath the “tap to get back into your account” message, there’s a link that takes you directly to your Instagram profile.
The link also starts with “https://ig.me/”, which is the legitimate short domain name for the popular social media sharing app.
However, once you click the link – you’ll basically give the scammer access to your Instagram account without needing your password. In tech terms, this is called a session cookie.
In other words, clicking the link will most certainly ensure that you’ve been hacked on Instagram.
Hackers and scammers don’t even need your password anymore to gain access to your Instagram account, a simple click on a link now suffices.
I clicked a link sent by 32665, what do I do?
If you’ve already clicked the link that was sent by the above number, you have to assume that your Instagram account has been compromised.
Immediately change your Instagram (and Facebook) passwords.
Did you use those passwords anywhere else? Change those too!
It’s never a good idea to recycle the same password across multiple platforms and sites.
Can’t log into your Instagram account anymore? Immediately get in touch with Instagram support to try and rectify the situation. If you provide enough details, chances are they’ll try and help you get your account back.
And if that also doesn’t help, your best bet is trying to delete your Instagram account, even if you don’t have a working password.
How to stop getting messages from 32665
If you’re getting legitimate messages from 32665 regarding Facebook updates, all you need to do is text “STOP” to 32665 and you will no longer receive these SMS notifications. You’ll receive another message that Facebook texts have been turned off.
You can also change the SMS notification settings from your Facebook account under Settings > Notifications > (scroll down) SMS.
If you want to stop the scam messages from 32665, there’s no other option than to block the number.
However, keep in mind that you might have to unlock 32665 in case you forgot your Instagram password and need a legitimate password reset.
Because the number is so often used for malicious and spam purposes, some providers and/or apps have actually automatically blocked the 32665 number. If you’re not getting any password request texts, this could be a possible explanation.
While the number 32665 is definitely used by Facebook and Instagram (the numbers spell out ‘FBOOK’), it is also often used by scammers in an attempt to hack your Instagram account. If you see a message from 32655 with a log-in link to Instagram and you haven’t requested it – do not click it, it’s a phishing scam and you will get your Insta account hacked.