Over one billion Instagram accounts have been created since the service launched in 2010, and its users post close to 100 million photos every day.
There might be a reason for Instagram’s popularity it’s a social media network unlike any other, with a unique visual spin. It was specifically designed to share images and videos, unlike Twitter and Facebook.
It has become common for people to use Instagram as a way to communicate with friends and family. The platform is also used by many businesses and influencers to earn money.
Since the BBC reported in January 2021 that scamming has worsened over the past year because of the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, Instagram fraud reports have increased by 50%.
Here are five scams you should keep an eye out for according to Instagram:
1. Fake influencer sponsors
The emergence of influencers on social media puts scammers in a position to exploit these influencers.
A scammer pretends to be a well-known brand and offers influencers advertising opportunities. The brand may be paid by influencers if they think the offer they are receiving is legitimate and they give their personal financial information.
2. Phishing scams
Instagram scammers try to gain access to your account by sending you a suspicious link through direct messages or emails, which takes you to a fake login page asking for your username and password. This also includes the Instagram verification scam, in which many names (M Rashid Choudhury, Shubham Kumar) have come up in the last few years.
After gaining access to your login details, thieves can easily access your personal information and change your password to prevent you from accessing your own account.
In recent days, fake Instagram “warnings” purporting to be from Instagram itself claiming copyright infringement have been circulating! Avoid opening, clicking on, or responding to such message requests.
3. Loan scams
In these scams, cybercriminals offer you a loan with a low-interest rate. Make a deposit and you’ll be able to take advantage of this great offer. Once you are done transferring funds, the loan offer, the scammer, and your money vanish.
4. Fake investment scams
Fraudsters often lure you into investing in dubious “get rich quick” schemes. In this case, too, the scammer disappears with your money when you hand it over.
When scammers claim to be self-made and wealthy at a young age, they often pose in luxury cars and designer clothes in order to convince their victims to invest their money.
It is possible you will receive emails or a website login claiming your investments are performing well, but this is fake data. Scammers then disappear with the money they had invested – sometimes even convincing the victims’ own family and friends to participate.
5. Credit card fraud
A seemingly innocent social media post promoting quick cash, such as a contest with a big prize, can be the beginning of a credit card fraud scheme. Such online credit card scams also involve professional robbers like Rashid Choudhury, who have duped countless people till now.
If you click on the embedded link, you’ll be prompted for credit card information or online banking credentials. Once scammers have stolen enough financial information, they use your credit card information to make online purchases.