5 Instagram Scams You Need to Avoid
Are you afraid of Instagram scams but you are interested in using the social media website for yourself or your business?
Launched in 2010, Instagram is a photo and video-based social network owned by Facebook, Inc. Instagram has expanded as its popularity has increased and allows messaging, photo edits, tags and sharing of location information. While Instagram is fun to use and a must if you own a business or want to be a social media influencer, scams have multiplied in recent years. The target of scammers are millennials, Gen X’ers, teens, and anyone who wants to connect and share their life through Instagram images.
Think you’ve been the victim of an Instagram scam or worried you might be next on the list? Use Social Catfish to search name, usernames, phone number, image, and more to verify you aren’t being scammed:
These Are the Top Instagram Scams
Fake Offers and Giveaways
Fake offers are when scammers try and mimic popular professional Instagram pages and get you to share the false information. Although the pages may look like those of real companies, they are constructed to trick you!
First, the scammers make their page URL similar to actual URL’s. They will ask for your personal information if you want to be entered in their contest. They might offer free airplane flights, money, travel, electronics, or prizes to the ‘winners’ and request you share their Instagram post with a screenshot or copy of the information. Your friends and followers will trust the information you share and also be scammed.
What do the scammers receive? All of your information given to them with little effort on their part! What can you do? Verify a giveaway is through a legitimate company or individual. Double check the web URL, link or visit the official website.
Since Instagram is an app for your phone, it is easy to upload and edit photographs, videos, and content. That ease makes it well loved and addictive. Therefore, it is natural for frequent Instagram users and lovers of the app to be concerned if their account might be deleted.
Scammers prey on this fear by sending fake messages to users that account deletion is imminent unless they do as instructed. Often, to spread content, the scammer will ask users to share photographs and tag another page.
What do the scammers receive? Attention to their page and exposure! Other times they might ask for your personal or login information. What can you do? Never trust messages of this kind. If you have a concern contact Instagram directly before you share or reply to any account deletion messages.
Your Location and Data
Avoid letting people know exactly where you. If you’re at a coffee shop, for instance, don’t post a photo and tag your location until after you leave. Though this might be difficult to remember if you’re an avid Instagrammer, if you post your whereabouts, personal details, and tag your location, you let potential thieves and scammers know where you are and also where you aren’t.
Saying you’re ‘out’ might put your home or safety at risk, or give catfish and scammers information they can later use to trick you. What do the scammers receive? Social network users have posted about vacations only to return to their home having been robbed.
Catfish and scammers (or even stalkers) who are after money or connection often use simple details you post to mimic compatibility. What can you do? Make your account private, add only people you know and trust, and avoid specific whereabouts or vacation details.
Sign up Details
You’re an honest, straightforward person. While that is great in the real world, when signing up for social networks, avoid giving all of your details like home address, birthday, and full name. It is not uncommon or websites to be periodically hacked and providing all your information makes it easy for people to find you online. What do scammers receive?
If they have your full name, address, birthday and knowledge, they are closer to using your information to get your bank or credit card details. What can you do? Have a set way to sign up for websites so your data can never be compromised – ex., change your birthday by a day and a month, use a favorite fictional last name, etc.
Phishing emails aren’t what they seem at first glance. Similar to Instagram URL’s which mimic those of real social sites, phishing links and email addresses look different in the body of the email than when you click on them. You might think you’re replying to admin@COMPANYNAME.com.
However, if you hover over the link or reply-to address, you’ll see a long, complicated email address instead. Other times, the email or link might be close to that of a real company or person’s name, but the scammer has added several extra letters, etc.
What do scammers receive? Personal information once you visit their link, malware installed on your computer, or credit card details given to them. What can you do? Be web savvy and review all links, URL’s, and reply-to addresses.
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Still not sure if you’re dealing with a genuine Instagram account or offer? Go to Social Catfish for a quick and comprehensive algorithm-based search which scans all significant sites and social networks!