I’m sure you know that Instagram is one of the most popular social networks (unless you’ve been living under a rock lol) and already counts with more than 500 million users.
Knowing that, don’t you think that scammers use this social network as a tool to attract potential victims and make them fall into their schemes? Unfortunately, yes.
I’m going to talk about the kind of frauds you can find on Instagram and how you can identify them so you can avoid them. No matter if you’re one of those people who have been scammed before or you’ve never been scammed, this article will help you not to fall for scams!
Table of Contents
Money flipping scam
This is one of the most popular scams. Con artists will claim to be able to turn your money into more money. They’ll say they need you to give them a minimum amount of cash so they can double it.
Now ask yourself: how are they going to do it? what’s in it for them?
Whenever you read or hear “money flipping” anywhere on the Internet, automatically think it’s a fraud. Don’t you find it’s uncommon that someone who doesn’t know you wants to help you for nothing in return?
How can you recognize it? The money flipping scammers usually have their Instagram accounts full of pictures of people flaunting cash, most of which is fake or dirty money. They do that to prey on your hopes and make you desperate for money, and they also want to make you think that they can really help you.
See what I mean below:
As you can see, they post pictures of money or people showing money. You can observe that they’ve posted similar pictures or even the same pictures, so it wouldn’t be weird that those accounts are run by the same person.
Con artists usually keep their accounts for a month or a couple month, exploit as many people as they can and then change their username. In case they get their account/s suspended by Instagram, they’ll create another account.
Free stuff scam
Who doesn’t like free stuff? I’m sure we all do lol.
In this case, scammers create fake accounts that offer coupons, flights, phones or other deals in exchange for follows, comments, likes…
Perhaps you’re thinking “if they’re offering free stuff, how can this be a scam?”.
Well, in some kind of way they’ll ask you for personal information like your email address so that you can claim your freebies. After you’ve given them what they want, you’ll receive nothing and take into account that they can use your personal information for identity theft or other kind of fraudulent stuff.
See an example below:
As you can see above, in order to win an iPhone, they require you to click a link, then enter your email or username and download two apps and enter your email or username and password to log into it. Be careful with this kind of offers because you could end up losing your Instagram account or get your identity stolen.
Selling an Instagram account scam
This type of scams are easy to identify. Basically, scammers will claim to sell an Instagram account with a lot of followers (10K, 50K or even 1 million followers) for a low price.
Most of these accounts that are for sale are usually accounts with fake or inactive followers or accounts that have been recycled from another. Fraudsters usually change their username after they’ve scammed enough people to avoid getting reported or suspended.
Let’s take a look at this account:
You can observe that they’ve posted the same picture three times, only to promote that they’re selling the account, and they also have a lot of followers. Now ask yourself: how can they have this amount of followers if they haven’t offered any content of value?
They may have bought the followers and now they say they’re selling the account to get a ROI, but what they really want is to take people’s money without giving them the account. Take into consideration that only one person can buy it, so it doesn’t make sense that they sell the account for a cheap price because the cheaper something is, the more the people who can afford it.
If they’re selling the account for a low fee, it means that they want a lot of people to pay for it, but it’s only one person who can end up having the account so it doesn’t make sense that they want to sell it to more than one person.
Let’s say that you’re willing to pay for it, who says that nobody else has offered to purchase it before you?
They also state that they don’t go first, what means “first the money, then the account”. What makes you think that you’re going to receive the account after you’ve paid them?
Once they have what they want, they’ll probably block you or change their username to hide from you and avoid getting reported.
Advertising deals scams
This scam is similar to the “selling an Instagram account scam” but instead of selling accounts, they sell ads.
This happens when someone offers to post ads or give you a shoutout on their account in exchange for cash, but they make you pay first and once they have your money they won’t deliver what they promised.
You need to make sure that it’s the account owner who is selling you the ads or shoutouts, you can do this by contacting them via other social networks or email. In case they don’t provide contact information or the seller is not the account owner then it’s more than likely a scam.
Take into account that scammers don’t usually offer ways to get in touch with them to avoid getting caught, as I explained in my article Tips to spot scams online.
It can also happen that it’s the account owner who’s selling advertising packages to make the deal look good, but of course they won’t deliver anything or won’t deliver everything they promised.
Email phishing scams
In this case, the fraudsters main goal is to steal your account or identity, just like it happens in the “free stuff scam”.
Let me tell you how to spot this scam.
First of all, you’ll get an email that seems to be coming officially from Instagram (the scammers found out your email address because you posted it in your Instagram profile).
They’ll inform you about some kind of copyright violation that you’ve apparently made and then they’ll tell you to view details to take you to a landing page and make you log into “Instagram”, but it’s really a page the scammers have created to receive your personal information and use it to steal your account or identity, as I mentioned before.
Pay attention to who has really sent you that email by checking the email address. Official emails from Instagram come from an email address that ends with “@instagram.com”, otherwise it’s not Instagram.
Avoid these scams!
Finally, we can conclude that scammers usually have the same purpose: steal your money or your identity. A fraudulent purpose that affects other people in a very negative way.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid falling for these craps:
- Always know who you’re dealing with.
- Be careful who you send your personal/financial information to.
- Suspect people who claim to offer stuff for nothing in return.
- Don’t send money to strangers.
If you want to know more about spotting online scams and avoiding them, click here to read more tips.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful and never get scammed! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you have fallen for an Instagram scam before, know about another one that I didn’t mention or have any questions. I’ll be more than happy to connect! Thanks for dropping by 🙂