Have no fear, Acorns users. Your accounts have not been hacked. Probably.
On Friday, droves of users of the investment app received weird emails telling them that they had been locked out of their accounts due to “unusual activity.” However, the company says those messages were sent by mistake.
The mayhem began sometime around 6 p.m. EST, when users began receiving erroneous messages that said the following:
We hope you’re safe and doing well. We recently discovered unusual activity with your Acorns account.
For your security, we have we have temporarily locked your account to prevent potential fraud.
The emails subsequently provided a phone number that it said users could call to unlock their account. People throughout the twittersphere began complaining about the issue, concerned that the company had been hacked.
It took Acorns a little bit, but they finally responded, letting everybody know that they had apparently just blitzed users with security alerts for nothing.
They subsequently sent out another round of emails, apologizing to everybody for the mishap and assuring them that their accounts were secure.
However, spamming everybody wasn’t the company’s only problem on Friday. People appear to be having legitimate trouble logging into their accounts. Around the same time that the “unusual activity” emails went out, Downdetector reported that the Acorns platform was having trouble.
In a tweet to one user, the platform attributed these issues to “high volumes” of user activity: “Separately, due to high volumes, all customers may have trouble logging in. We are working diligently to get things back to normal.”
Suffice it to say, that hasn’t really calmed people down, and a lot of them are pissed. “Hey @acorns what’s going on with the locked email? The number provided does not work and your app isn’t working either now,” tweeted one user. “damn. somebody at acorns gettin fired rip,” said another. Another person merely offered: “Acorn fuckin up.”
We reached out to Acorns, to try to get more details about the episode but we haven’t heard back yet. We will update this post when they respond.
UPDATE Saturday, August 21, 2021. An Acorns representative ultimately forwarded us the following statement in response to the incident: “Many of our customers received an email that we sent out in error Friday afternoon. All Acorns accounts are secure and are not locked.”
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