If an account enters your direct messages saying that you have won a competition or that you should look for a way to make money fast or that it offers some kind of promotional collaboration, it is probably too good to be true. (You must delete the messages and report the scam.)
“When it comes to spotting a scam on Instagram, people should be on the lookout for messages asking you to click on a link, even if it appears to be from a friend, a trusted brand, or Instagram itself “, adds Barker. Scam messages often include spelling errors, poor English, or you want to click on a link that takes you away from the app. They often also come from newly created accounts.
Scammers who use the Instagram logo and brand to send tech, verification, or security assistance messages to people via direct messages have been detected. All these are fakes. Instagram says it will never send you direct messages about your account. (You can see Instagram’s official emails in the app’s settings.) “Watch out for posts about giveaways, gift cards, and investment schemes, as these are common tactics for criminals,” Barker says. If a brand contacts you from an unverified account, you need to be very careful when responding.
Scams also come through Instagram Stories. “Scammers abuse the Instagram Stories feature and post scams that are automatically removed after 24 hours,” says Chris Boyd, chief malware intelligence analyst at cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes. “The scam is hidden behind your profile picture; you won’t see it in the main image collection,” says Boyd, adding that this move helps keep the scam away from Instagram sources. and disappears automatically, making it harder to detect.
While competition scams and attempts to access people’s accounts aren’t new, Instagram has also seen an increase in “hostage-style” scams, where people are forced to post videos telling people to invest in bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies to recover their hacked accounts. . Several Instagram users reportedly VICI, have been pressured to record videos after their accounts were hacked. Other people report losing thousands due to Instagram scammers. Incidents highlight why you shouldn’t rely on all the accounts you follow.
“Cryptocurrency scams are quick methods to move users away from the relative security of the Instagram platform and to trading sites where Instagram can’t help,” Boyd says. “Extortion-driven cryptocurrency approvals are a smart move by the scammer. Taking advantage of 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 – it’s a mix of security settings and slight behavioral adjustments. Fortunately, the process is not too complicated and small changes can make a big difference.
First, as mentioned above, you should avoid clicking on the links they send you, especially from accounts you don’t know personally, or if someone you know sends a URL that seems out of place. “Tracking an account for many months still can’t turn it into an authentic account,” Moore says.