HACKERS took over the Instagram of Wimbledon champ Simona Halep and urged her 1.3million followers to send money.
The hacked “story” faked as being from Halep, who crushed Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 in just 56 minutes two weeks ago, begged: “Hey, can someone please help me out…? I am stuck in Switzerland and my bank account is not working here. In need of $500 (£400) willing to return $1500 (£1,200) by the weekend.
“I have a Zelle account! Venmo is not working here for some reason. Pls stop asking can I take Venmo … this is so embarrassing!”
Zelle and Venmo are payment services similar to the popular PayPal.
If her 1.3million followers had fallen for the hack, they would have been swindled out of a combined total of £521million.
The sting was followed by another that placed a link in her bio offering more than $350 (£281).
The Romanian ace, 27, took to Twitter to warn fans. She said: “Please ignore the hackers having fun on my account.
“We are aware and Instagram are working on it.” She later added “Cleaned up.”
Instagram has been used by scammers before to hack people’s accounts.
In March this year a group said to be Turkish hackers sent realistic looking emails out luring users to hand over their login details.
Then they extorted victims to get access back to their accounts.