Since its introduction in 2010, Instagram has seen over 1 billion accounts created, with users sharing around 100 million photographs every day. Instagram’s popularity can be ascribed to the fact that it is a unique social networking site with a profoundly different aesthetic twist. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the network was created with image and video sharing in mind.
How To Avoid Instagram Scams
Many businesses and entrepreneurs utilize the platform to make money as well. However, Instagram isn’t just about posting happy videos and photographs, flaunting your new clothing, or bragging about where you’re eating dinner with a pal. Regrettably, the platform’s prominence makes it an excellent location for thieves to conduct large-scale scams.
Scamming has been worse in the last year, according to the BBC, which reported in January 2021 that Instagram fraud claims had climbed by 50% since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020. As our digital lives evolve and online scammers develop new tactics, it’s critical to understand how to spot an Instagram scam and what to do if you’re a victim.
1. Scams involving giveaways:
Influencers on Instagram frequently host sponsored giveaways with limited-time advertisements in which sponsors offer free goods or services to a select lucky winner. These offers are frequently lavish, with followers having the chance to win designer apparel, high-end laptops, AirPods, and other items. Unfortunately, scammers will misrepresent the trusted influencer and claim that they have won the competition, but that they must pay a “shipping fee” or submit confidential info that they can subsequently exploit for nefarious purposes in order to obtain the reward.
2. Sponsored by a fake influencer:
Fraudsters are going to take advantage of the surge in social media influencers to prey on the influencers.
These con artists pose as a well-known brand and offer influencers an advertisement agreement. If the influencer is unfortunate enough to trust that the deal they are getting is authentic, they may be forced to give their personal banking information to the brand in order to be “paid.”
3. Instagram Likes and Followers for Free:
Influencers can make a lot of money by endorsing different brands’ items on their profiles. They can generate more money if they have more followers. Cybercriminals have jumped on board this business model, posing as organizations that sell cheap followers and likes to help influencers boost their numbers. These accounts may appear to be genuine, however, they are frequently automated accounts created with the intent of defrauding users.
4. Fake Brand Accounts:
According to data research firm Ghost Data, the imposter brand accounts for hawk items and products over 65 million bogus posts per year in the fashion industry. The most widely counterfeited items are bags, shoes, and clothing, with luxury and high-end retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Nike each having hundreds of knock-off accounts. Apple and other well-known consumer brands have also been assaulted.
5. Phishing scams:
Phishers attempt to get access to an Instagram account by providing a suspicious link via Instagram direct message or email, which leads to users entering their username and password on a phony login page. Once the thieves get your login information, they can view your private details and even change your password, locking you out of your account. Users should always delete these types of communication requests without viewing them or clicking any links or buttons.
6. Loan scams:
Cybercriminals send a personal message by providing a loan with a low-interest rate in these frauds. All they have to do now is pay a deposit to secure this wonderful deal. The loan offer, the fraudster, and the amount all vanish as soon as the funds are transferred.
How To Avoid Instagram Scams:
Instagram will never ask people to update their confidential info by clicking on a link. To see if a request is real, click to the ‘Emails from Instagram’ tab, where you’ll find a record of all official Instagram emails you’ve received in the last 14 days.
Create a private account:
Because Instagram accounts are set to public by default, you should make your account private to ensure that only your friends can see your posts. Only your approved followers will be able to search for your posts, see which ones you’ve liked, and send you direct messages.
Allow two-factor authentication to be used:
Instagram will send you a unique identifier for logging in if you activate this on your account.
Status of activity disablement:
People you follow or with whom you have direct discussions on Instagram can see when you were last active on the platform. Turn off ‘Activity Status’ in ‘Settings’ to preserve your privacy.
Accounts can be blocked:
You can personally block someone who is harassing you or publishing inappropriate stuff. Select ‘Block’ from the three-dot menu on the account. It’s also worth notifying Instagram about the account. The account will be suspended if they discover that the account, remark, or video has violated the rules of service.
Check for confirmed accounts:
If you’re buying things from what appears to be a huge brand account, make sure it’s verified with a blue tick. If a merchant offers pricey things at low costs or uses unusual payment methods, suspicions should be aroused.