Instagram has around 1.21 billion monthly active users, accounting for more than 28% of all internet users worldwide. At times, everyone may be on Instagram. Any social media platform with an audience of this magnitude is bound to attract scammers looking to cash in on unsuspecting users. Consequently, Instagram is a fertile ground for a wide range of frauds. Thankfully, there are methods to prevent becoming a victim of an Instagram scam by being aware of what they look like and having basic cybersecurity knowledge.
Unfortunately, Instagram is more than simply showcasing photos and entertaining videos. In reality, fraudsters are utilizing the app to scam people online through various forms of scams. So, “What type of frauds are on Instagram?” To assist solve this issue, we’ve developed a list of the top Instagram scams to be aware of.
Common Instagram Scams:
Some of the common Instagram scams are listed below with an explanation.
1. Phishing Scams
A phishing scheme may send you an urgent direct message (DM) or email urging you to take action before your Instagram account is “suspended.” A fraudster will pretend as an official Instagram customer support account in the message and try to convince you that your account is in danger. The following are common characteristics of a phishing scam:
- Notifications suggesting your account is in jeopardy
- Requests for personal information, such as your login and password
- Notifications that you must verify “strange activity”
By responding to an Instagram phishing message, they may get access to your account, steal your data, or blackmail you for money. To avoid this, never provide any information to an account you are doubtful about. However, keep in mind that Instagram will never DM you about your account, and you can read official Instagram emails in your Settings.
2. Fake Merchandise Scams
Selling counterfeit items is a prevalent Instagram fraud that affects both user accounts and Instagram advertising. Instagram has around 20,000 active counterfeiter profiles. Each counterfeiter profile has over 1,250 friends on average.
In a word, the fraud is as follows: Fraudsters pose as genuine brand accounts, promising exclusive deals and discounts on high-end merchandise. The more followers they have, the more credible they appear to be. These followers are frequently phony.
Scam accounts would upload photoshopped images of items to make them appear more appealing in adverts. They also like to add words in their photographs rather than static material via posts or articles. Online shoppers can “place orders,” but they will never get the things. Some receive inferior products or outright knock-offs.
3. Fake Influencer Accounts
The account may even be a beautiful woman acting as a financial expert.
- You will get a follow and potentially a DM from a “popular” account with a lot of false followers and likes. (It may even be a genuine hacked Instagram account.)
- The account will most likely seem to be a beautiful woman providing financial services or investment possibilities.
- The content of the account has nothing to do with finance. It’s just a pretty woman trying to get your attention.
- Taking advantage of your emotional vulnerability, the account will inform you about fantastic “investment possibilities” in cryptocurrency, FX, or real estate.
4. Sponsorship Scams
Fake sponsorship schemes, often known as Instagram ambassador scams, make use of fake or hacked accounts. These accounts, however, pretend to be actual brands rather than influencers. A sponsorship fraud has the following characteristics:
- DMs from fictitious brand accounts
- The advertisement offers to pay you
- Requests for your data
- Opportunities to become an ambassador
- Some scams even promise free or cheap travel, usually for an in-person meeting or photography. In truth, these are bogus events designed to steal your personal and financial information.
5. Lottery, Sweepstakes, Or Giveaway Scams
If you’ve been on Instagram for a while, you’ve probably come across an influencer that pushes sponsored lotteries or giveaways of some kind. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t appreciate free stuff? Scammers are fully aware of this and like to abuse naïve users by sending them phony messages claiming they’ve won some type of lottery or giveaway, but they’ll need to pay for shipping or submit personal information.
6. Crypto Mining Scams
Crypto mining scams on Instagram have grown in popularity in recent years. These scams often include fraudulent individuals or businesses claiming to sell, rent, or provide mining services in return for crypto payments. They may also offer bogus investment opportunities promising big returns with little to no risk.
In actuality, these scams are intended to deceive and swindle naive victims, and the fraudsters frequently leave with their money without offering any actual mining services or returns on investment. Individuals should be cautious when engaging with such offers on Instagram or any other social media site, and should extensively examine the validity of any individual or organization before making any financial commitments.
7. Fake Job Scams
With so many individuals losing their employment as a result of the epidemic, fraudsters sought to capitalize on the situation by advertising false job listings on Instagram. Fake job scams frequently include:
- Messages from impostor recruiters
- Links to fraudulent employment applications
- Requests for your data
Once you’ve provided the phony recruiter with your information, they might use it to steal your identity, empty your bank accounts, or take over your Instagram account.
8. Romance Scams
Romance scams, also known as catfishing, are frequently connected with dating applications. They are not, however, confined to those sorts of programs. Romance scams, in most situations, require time. They begin romance by commenting on your articles or sending you direct messages. When the bad actor feels they have their victim wrapped around their finger, they will begin to ask for money and, in most circumstances, will vanish once they have it.
9. Music Promotion Scams
Music industry schemes, particularly music marketing frauds, are common on Instagram. Highly questionable inspirations may pose as musicians to verify their accounts and get lucrative endorsements. In a word, accounts are inflated with phony followers – in some cases, millions of them.
As, To attract musicians and composers, these fraudulent marketing accounts utilize comment and DM bots. These augmented accounts will upload your tunes and even show you how many “views” you have received. Unfortunately, it’s all an illusion. Your songs may have only gotten thousands of views by bots.
10. Blackmail Scams
Scammers may attempt to blackmail you as a form of harassment or for financial gain in certain Instagram hacking schemes. Instagram blackmailing schemes frequently feature the following characteristics:
- Threats to reveal personal information
- Demands for payment
- Claims that a hacker has accessed your files
- In the case of blackmailing schemes, the hacker may not even have the information they claim to have and is instead attempting to intimidate you into satisfying their demands.
11. Investment Scams
Several fraudsters target folks in need of additional money with false investment possibilities, similar to crypto Instagram scams. As a result, it’s essential to avoid any cash flipping or get-rich-quick scams. Instagram investment scams include
DMs from folks who look to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle, promises of financial prosperity and affluence, and calls for a one-time contribution, frequently via mobile payment applications, After the Instagram scammer gets your money, you’ll probably never hear from them again, and they’ll try to do the same to others.
12. Paid Subscription Scams
To earn a profit, bad actors may offer a one-time payment for a lifetime subscription to several internet services. The truth is that there is no subscription available. However, Most internet services do not rely on third-party subscription sales. Like with previous frauds, dishonest actors will grab your money and then disappear as soon as the transfer is completed.
What To Do If You Get Scammed On Instagram:
Some scams are more complex than others, and it is perfectly acceptable to fall for one. But, if you did fall victim to an Instagram scam, it is critical to recognize that it can have severe consequences if not taken seriously and acted promptly. If you’ve been the victim of an Instagram scam, here are a few things you should do right now.
Monitor Your Financial Accounts And Contact Your Bank
Each scammer’s ultimate goal is to make a profit by whatever means possible. Hence, if you become a victim of internet fraud, notify your bank about possibly unusual activities.
Change Your Password
When you are scammed online, your sensitive information is frequently taken. Such information frequently includes a password and a username, and if you reuse passwords across many accounts, fraudsters will have access to all of the accounts secured by that single password. That’s why you should change your passwords on all of your online accounts as soon as you realize you’ve been scammed.
Freeze Your Credit
Block your credit or debit cards, and set a transaction restriction, if required, to protect your funds.
Report The Scam To Instagram
If you fall victim to a scam, make sure to report it on Instagram. It can assist the platform in taking action and limiting the reach of fraudsters. For complete information on how to report various sorts of fraud, go visit Instagram’s Help Center.
How To Protect Yourself Against Instagram Scams:
Set Your Account As Private
Instagram, like other social media networks, allows you to keep your account private, which limits who can view your posts and engage with you on the platform. So, By making your account private, you may avoid receiving suspicious communications from prospective fraudsters.
Use Strong Passwords
A strong password is required to keep your Instagram account secure. When you use a basic, easy-to-remember password to safeguard your account, you are only making a hacker’s work simpler. A strong password should consist of at least 12 characters and include numbers, special symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Don’t Reuse Passwords
Using the same password for several accounts is equally as dangerous as using weak passwords because if a bad actor obtains that single password, they will have rapid access to multiple accounts. Creating secure passwords for all of your accounts might be time-consuming, but with a Password Generator, the process is quick and simple.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra degree of protection by requiring an additional stage of verification in addition to a password and a login. Typically, the additional verification step is a one-time password (OTP), which is a four-digit number that is delivered to you by an authentication app, SMS, or email message.
By using MFA, you can keep your accounts safe even if your password is compromised.
Never Click On Suspicious Links
Clicking on a questionable link will almost certainly result in the installation of harmful software on your device. Avoid clicking on links from untrustworthy sources. A trustworthy service provider would rarely push you to click on a link or download an attachment.
Only Buy From Verified Profiles
If you’re a frequent Instagram consumer, only buy from verified vendors. Even if the bargain appears to be a steal, don’t take any chances with unverified accounts.
Monitor Your Login Activity
If suspect login activity is discovered on most social media networks, including Instagram, you will receive an email alert. Don’t dismiss these warnings. Take them seriously and follow through.
To stay safe on Instagram, it is important to be aware of the various scams that exist on the platform. Some common scams include phishing scams, fake merchandise scams, fake influencer accounts, sponsorship scams, lottery/sweepstakes/giveaway scams, crypto mining scams, fake job scams, and romance scams.
To avoid these scams, it is important to never provide personal information to suspicious accounts, be cautious when engaging with offers that seem too good to be true, and do research on the validity of any individual or organization before making any financial commitments. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that Instagram will never DM you about your account and to read official Instagram emails in your settings.
What Are Some Common Instagram Scams?
Some common Instagram scams include phishing scams, fake merchandise scams, fake influencer accounts, sponsorship scams, lottery/giveaway scams, crypto mining scams, fake job scams, romance scams, music promotion scams, and blackmail scams. So, These scams often involve requests for personal information, promises of financial gain, or fraudulent offers of goods or services. It’s important to stay vigilant and avoid providing any information to suspicious accounts.
What To Do If You Get Scammed On Instagram?
If you become a victim of an Instagram scam, take immediate action. Monitor your financial accounts and contact your bank, change your passwords, and freeze your credit. Report the scam to Instagram to help prevent others from falling victim.
How To Protect Yourself Against Instagram Scams?
To protect yourself against Instagram scams, you can set your account to private, use strong and unique passwords, enable multi-factor authentication, avoid clicking on suspicious links, only buy from verified profiles, and monitor your login activity. However, By taking these precautions, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to online fraudsters and keep your personal information secure.