Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter removed hundreds of accounts Thursday after an investigation into “OGUsers,” a forum for trafficking stolen usernames and phone numbers.
The crackdown, as reported by Krebs on Security, represents the results of a coordinated effort by the platforms to scrutinize the most active members of the OGUsers account theft ring. Tactics to wrest control of coveted short usernames, which can reportedly fetch a resale value of thousands of dollars, include hacking, coercion and extortion.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, tells CNET that the investigation resulted in the removal of hundreds of accounts.
“Today, we’re removing hundreds of accounts connected to members of the OGUsers forum,” a Facebook company spokesperson said. “They harass, extort and cause harm to the Instagram community, and we will continue to do all we can to make it difficult for them to profit from Instagram usernames.”
As for Twitter, a company representative tells CNET that it suspended “a number of accounts” included in the OGUsers network in accordance with its platform manipulation and spam policy.
“This investigation was done in tandem with Facebook,” the spokesperson adds.
TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, though the company confirmed to Krebs on Security that it took action to target accounts tied to OGUsers and reclaim an unspecified number of accounts.