Algerian scammer benefits from social media from Lexington teen’s illness

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A Lexington teen is looking for answers from Instagram after her nonprofit page was copied from an Algerian group.

Savannah Cooper is known around Lexington as a young inspiration to many. The 17 year old battles Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The disease weakens tissue in the body.

Cooper is known to speak to schools and other groups sharing her journey.

On social media, she is known to do the same with her nonprofit “Sav Strong” where she shares her journey through photos on Instagram as well as raining money for families battling other diseases.

However, lately, there have not been as many posts.

In early August Cooper was alerted to an Algerian Instagram page that appeared to have stolen dozens of her photos requesting prayer as the copy-cat battled lung cancer.

She alerted Instagram to the issue and instead of shutting the page down, they disabled hers – meaning for her collective 8,000 followers on two-separate profiles, they can no longer access her journey and donate to her cause.

"All of these people from across the world have connected to this ‘story’ which is really my story but being taken and spun into an entirely different thing,” Cooper explained to WKYT’s Nick Oliver Tuesday.

Since the problem, she says she has continuously contacted Instagram asking for a closer examination of the fake page – now with more than 35,000 followers. She says she has yet to receive a response and hopes even if her stories of inspiration can’t be shared on social media, that they will still be heard in another capacity.

"It’s just sad because it is something I worked so hard on and my family really built this page from the ground up,” said Cooper. “To see something like this happen without really, any communication has just been awful.”

Cooper is now beginning her freshman year at Baldwin Wallace University studying in the Music Theatre department. She says she now hopes her story will be just as impactful there as it was in Lexington.

It is unknown if the Algerian group is profiting off of the page; however, cooper believes with 35,000 followers and growing, they likely are.