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Most Common Instagram Scams

Instagram being the largest social media platform globally, has drawn to itself a lot of attention. Unfortunately, some attention also comes from scammers who have planned the Most Common Instagram Scams

Since the 2010 launch, the app has garnered active users in excess of 1.15 billion, sharing a mind-numbing 95 million photos daily. Unfortunately, this acceptance, together with the platform’s open nature, makes Instagram the ideal place for ambitious scamming. 

By virtue of hiding their true identities behind fake accounts and ersatz profiles, cybercriminals can impersonate trusted sources, coax money out of people, sell counterfeit goods, or harvest personal information for personal profit. What is readily understood by a scam being ‘viral’ is the rapid spread of scams as there’s an upsurge in liking, sharing, and commenting. 

Common scams on Instagram: spotting and avoiding 

Fake brand accounts 

Fake brand accounts on Instagram are widespread. Besides, close to a fifth of all fashion product posts show counterfeit goods. Accounts over 50000 promote and sell these products daily. These imposter accounts vouch for exclusive discounts, but the uncomfortable truth is they only wish to buy followers and like it adds credibility to what they do. 

Instagram followers and likes for free 

Influencers can make massive amounts of money thru the promotion of products of different companies. The amount of money they make is directly proportional to the number of followers they have. Cyber Criminals have been masquerading as companies following cheap followers, helping influencers nudge their ranking a level up. 

Fake investment scams

 For the month of June 2020, Action Fraud got 164 reports from victims of Fake investment scams. There was a minimum combined loss to the tune of GBP 350000. Generally, scammed will contact victims thru the platform’s features of instant messaging post advertising their service. They ask for only a few hundred pounds for trading on the stock exchange. 

Fake giveaways 

Even as there are many legit giveaways and promotions, there are a lot of scammy ones holding out promises of non-payment of prizes. They, by and large, copy big brand names and request that you like, comment, share on the post to be in contention for winning. Such scammers value each follower to the extent that adds ascertain depth and block to their account. However, the most crucial goal with such people is that they harvest your private information. 

Phishing 

Unfortunately, there are a large number of phishing scams on Instagram. Phishing emails ask users to click on a link, verify account activity, or submit personal information. Were a scammer to gain access to your account, they may make away with your private information. They could even change your password and lock you out. Direct messages are also being used to push malware and scams. 

How to avoid common Instagram scams : tips 

Steer clear of suspicious links

You opened mail that should have remained unopened. If you have not touched the sent link in the scam email, you could shield yourself from malware downloading. 

let your account be a private one 

If your account is a private one, only approved followers will be able to DM you. 

Enable two-factor authentication 

You can enable two-factor authentication on your Instagram account. Instagram will give you a unique code to log in.

Disable activity status 

You can go to Settings and check Activity Status. That way, the last time you were active on the app would not be visible. 

Check login activity

Go to Settings and check login activity. This would let you see the locations from where your account was logged in. in case there are locations you fail to remember, you can safely conclude your account has been compromised. In that case, you should log out and change the password. 

Block account 

If you find an account has been bothering you unreasonably, you can block them. You can also get them suspended if you can prove they have caused unnecessary trouble. 

Third-party apps

You can keep a vigil over third-party apps that might be causing trouble. In Settings, you can monitor authorized apps. Those whom you feel to be rogue app you can remove. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of features on your Instagram account itself that would permit vigilance. You can keep vigilance here, and regulate whom you would be trucking with. Malware can be traceable from Settings. Added to this, you can customize how you access your account. Knowing the modus operandi and motivation of the different actors behind most common Instagram scams, you have a reasonably good shot at sidestepping their acts altogether. 

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