If an account slides into your DMs stating that you won a contest or that you need to find a way to make a quick buck, or offer some sort of promotional partnership, then it probably sounds too good to be true. (You must delete the messages and report the scam†
“When it comes to spotting scams on Instagram, people should be on the lookout for messages asking you to click a link, even if they appear to be from a friend, a trusted brand, or Instagram itself,” added Barker. Scam messages often contain typos, poor English, or want you to click a link that takes you away from the app. They often come from recently created accounts as well.
Scammers have been spotted using Instagram’s logo and branding to steer technology, authentication, or security support messages to people through DMs. These are all fakes. Instagram says yes never send you direct messages about your account. (You can see official Instagram emails in the app settings.) “Watch out for giveaways, gift cards, and investment programs, as these are common tactics for criminals,” says Barker. If a brand contacts you from an unverified account, be very careful in responding.
Scams also come through Instagram Stories. “Scammers are exploiting the Instagram Stories feature and posting scams that are automatically removed after 24 hours,” said Chris Boyd, lead malware intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes. “The scam is hidden behind their profile picture; you won’t see it in the main image collection,” Boyd says, adding that this move will help keep the scam away from Instagram feeds and disappear automatically, making it harder to detect.
While competitive scams and attempts to gain access to people’s accounts are not new, Instagram has also seen an increase in “hostage style” scams, where people are forced to post videos telling people to invest in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to protect their money. recover hacked accounts. Multiple Instagram users, as reported by SHAME, have been pressured to record videos after their accounts were hacked. Report other people thousands of losses to Instagram scammers† The incidents show why you should not trust every account you follow.
“Cryptocurrency scams are quick methods of diverting users away from the relative security of the Instagram platform and into trading sites where Instagram can’t help,” Boyd says. “Extortion-driven cryptocurrency endorsements are a smart move by the scammer. Using people you know and trust in visual media to promote something will always be more compelling than a random email.”
How to avoid being scammed?
There are things you can do to avoid being hacked and the worst scams are a combination of security settings and minor behavioral changes. Fortunately, the process isn’t too complicated and small changes can make a big difference.
First, as mentioned before, you should avoid clicking on links sent to you, especially from accounts you don’t know personally, or if someone you know sends a URL that seems odd. “If you follow an account for many months, it may still not become an authentic account,” Moore says.