Instagram Scam Emails | Scams Every Instagram User Must be Aware of
It has been 12 years since Instagram was launched and its unparalleled growth has witnessed over 1 billion users accounts, sharing approximately 100 million pictures every day. What started as a means to share photos and keep connected, with fresh features than the once overpowering Facebook, Instagram has become a major means of small-business ideas, promotions and a haven for influencers.
With popularity at a massive scale, owing to innovative social media networks, unique visual twists, and a great way to stay in touch with family, friends and trends, Instagram is a staple in the modern world. But, the success story of every platform, no matter how big or small, follows the scary story of scams, financial frauds, reputation dents and personal information or data misuse for extortion or other criminal offences. Instagram is not just the gleeful place for posting vacation pictures, remembering day-night outs with friends, updating family photos or trying to fall in the rat race of influencers.
While Instagram does not have robust competition in terms of popularity, so does the surge in scams on the platform. The transparency of Instagram influencers, creators with their personal data such as email id, available on their profile, without a security shield makes them susceptible to scams. Under criminal infringement, such creators or budding Instagram entrepreneurs are at the vulnerable stage of getting scammed through the myriad online and offline means.
Most Common Instagram Scam Emails doing rounds on the platform
The world’s most popular social media platform has unknowingly invited cybercriminals who are penetrating into the sophisticated ways of targeting users through various means, such as:
Incorporate the use of bogus websites through links. When you click on the suspicious link you would be redirected to a fraud website that will ask for your login credentials or bank account information, under the pretence of the authorized body.
Bogus Brand Collaboration Requests
Fraud requests from an imposter or non-existing websites, offering to pay you for money in exchange for promoting their products. They, then steal your personal details, financial data once you provide them for payment, only to misuse it later.
Fake Investment Offers
The promise of handsome capital return in exchange for a small investment in different schemes, which most likely steal all your money.
The tempting zone of awarding a prize through the contest, where you are required to you are your personal information for payment purposes, only to have it abused.
Selling Likes and Followers
The rat race of more followers might turn ugly with fraudsters asking you to pay a small fee in exchange for more likes, followers on Instagram, leading to financial data being stolen.
Imposter Brand Accounts
The sheer ease and no-control of counterfeit products being bought and sold on Instagram, under imposter accounts, promising the delivery of goods, with no cash-on-delivery option, masquerading as a big brand.
Non-existent Job Offers
Extorting your personal information, such as bank account details, home address, phone number etc., by falsely claiming to be hiring managers, for misusing the data against you.
How do Instagram Scam Emails work?
There is no one way hackers feed on the vulnerability of an Instagram user.
Fraudsters might send you or someone you know a phishing email, masquerading as an authentic email, with a link under the pretext of Instagram, stating your login/password has expired. This link will redirect you to a page, which might not seem very bogus. These crooks then ask you to identify yourself by logging in to your Instagram account. And if you happen to follow these steps as they ask, that is when you have become their victim. Once they have your login details, it is not hard for them to extort other sensitive information or misuse your account for their benefit.
Another very common scam highlighted by Instagram users has been the fake copyright notices through emails asking to prove the user’s innocence. The hackers usually follow a standard, yet genuine seeming email stating “Hello Instagram user, we have recently received a complaint about a post on your Instagram account. Your post was reported as infringing copyright.
Your account would be removed unless you raise an objection to the copyrighted work. If you think this determination is incorrect, please fill the objection by clicking on the link below.” The email would be followed by an appeal button, containing a short link, which when clicked, will redirect you to another website.
There, you would be required to fill in your Instagram account details, causing your worst fears to come true.
How to stay safe from Instagram Scam Emails?
First things first, there is no greater security shield than the shield of vigilance! While you can go ahead with complaints against the scamsters, let’s start with keeping your senses wide open to recognise the threats and stay as far away from engaging with them as possible.
Moreover, you can adopt the following strategies to keep yourself safe from Instagram scam emails:
- Unless you are an influencer, a public figure or run your business on Instagram, it is recommended to keep your account private to mitigate the scamsters engaging with you or your personal data.
- Use strong passwords and two-way authentication to maintain a robust shield, difficult to be penetrated.
- Stay away from clicking on suspicious or for that matter any link that comes from a stranger. If you have the online fraud detection app on your phone, it can identify such fraudulent intent phishing weblinks.
- While buying from Instagram business profiles, make sure they are authentic, verified and have a genuine testimonial.
- Keep a tab on your login activity to ensure suspicious activity.
- Regularly review the third-party applications to make sure they are not stealing your data. You can use the phishing alert app to see which apps have access to your private data or have malicious intent.
- Do not respond to emails that seem unsolicited.
- If an email with a deal, discount or offer seems too good to be true, it is highly likely to be fake, so stay vigilant.
The intensity and bandwidth of Instagram scams are paving for an alert for active users on the platform. While you can always complain about the potential threat or scam, wouldn’t it be better if you stay in a safety zone by adopting simple yet effective measures while operating the Instagram account? Moreover, it would be healthy for your peace of mind, and you are more likely to gain the trust of your followers, thus more business, if you stay vigilant and promote the same.
Digital fraud of any kind is highly sophisticated and difficult to track, due to its existing characteristics. But it should scare off creating or for that matter scaling your Instagram account. Rather keep your eyes and ears open to threats that might be breeding under your nose, only to hit when a vulnerability rises.
Keep Safe, Keep growing!