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The 5 Biggest Instagram Scams That are STILL Going ON

Scammers are now using social media to advance their malicious agendas. Scams are prevalent on Instagram, and users are falling prey to schemes that compromise their security and rob them of their money.  The FBI reported that the number of complaints filed about romance scams on social media rose 20% from 2016 to 2017.

Social media managers for brands, regular Instagram users, and influencers are all at risk of getting scammed. It's important to educate yourself about the different scams out there to protect yourself.

Flipping money and targeting the military

Money-flipping is a financial scam that's popular on Instagram. This scam involves cybercriminals having their victims send them money as an ‘investment.' They make it seem like their victims are investing in a business model that lets them increase their money instantly. What's worse is that these cybercriminals target those in the military with images and words.

ZeroFOX analyzed thousands of money-flipping Instagram accounts. They found that posts often consist of military jargon and hashtags, and feature military-related images in the hopes of attracting those in the service. Scammers target military personnel because they're familiar with cash transfers overseas, and exploit the distance between the military and their families to set their money-making scheme in motion.

Military-specific banks also have faster transactions and larger withdrawal limits to serve their overseas customers. Cybercriminals who target those in the military have the opportunity to withdraw larger sums of money before the bank's anti-fraud detection system freezes the account. Keep in mind that a credible bank will never request personal information through social media platforms!

The Powerball jackpot scam

Mavis Wanczyk made headlines for being the sole winner of a Powerball jackpot worth $758.5 million. It didn't take long for scammers to take advantage of Wanczyk's popularity. Over a dozen fake accounts were created with her name all across social media. These accounts promised other users a portion of the winnings in exchange for likes, comments, and personal information.

The Chicopee Police Department in Boston issued a statement warning about these devious accounts. The police urged the public to avoid sending these accounts sensitive information. They also encouraged users to report the accounts to prevent them from scamming even more people online.

One “Wanczyk” account promised users $5,000 in exchange for Bitcoins. The account even posted screenshots of messages from other users who've “received” their share of the “winnings.” To date, Wanczyk hasn't issued any statement on whether she plans to share any of her winnings with the public… Or with random Instagram users.

Fake brandediveaway accounts

It's not uncommon to find fake accounts on Instagram that are made to look like official brand accounts. The post below is definitely not from Best Buy.

Scammers exploit big brands by creating accounts using slight variations of the company's official name to draw their victims into their scheme. These fake accounts are known for hosting giveaways that promise gift cards and cash prizes in exchange for social signals like comments and follow backs, or sometimes sensitive personal information.

Giveaway accounts not only give victims a false sense of hope but they also compromise their online security. Victims of giveaway accounts are more vulnerable to online hacking. The mere act of sharing sensitive information with cybercriminals opens you up to a variety of threats that compromise your security online.

Instagram boutique scams

These days, you can do most of your shopping without leaving the house. Recently, there's been a steady rise in boutique accounts on Instagram that sell clothes, makeup, and some things in between, like this abomination which Nike has never produced:

While there are Instagram boutiques out there who deliver exceptional service to their clients, there are also quite a few seedy ones known for their scammy business models. There are hundreds of posts out there from customers who are complaining about receiving cheap and ugly versions of the clothes they've purchased through various Instagram boutiques.

Online shoppers everywhere are posting proof to expose cheap clothing scams on Instagram. Despite efforts to report these shady online businesses to the proper authorities, many of them continue to operate and have thousands of followers that continuously fall for their money-making schemes. Before you order anything online, do your research and find out as much about the company you're buying from as you can.

These same principles, of doing research, apply to when buying a few thousand Instagram Followers. You must only purchase from a reputable provider that's guaranteed to deliver social signals as promised. While there are some scammers in this industry, we’ve taken the time to test and review hundreds of providers to learn which ones will provide the best value. Read our reviews before ordering to ensure you don't get scammed like the items above will.

Student loan accounts

There's been a rise of student loan agencies on Instagram that promise to erase a person's debt. These pseudo-financial agencies offer promising services that sound enticing to someone who's desperate for some financial relief, but a closer inspection of their services reveal that they’re offering things which you can find for free.

These fake financial agencies are actually just enrolling their victims in the Department of Education’s income-based repayment option, which allows debtors to repay what they owe based on a percentage of their monthly earnings. Scammers sign people up for free behind the scenes, and then charge sky-high fees for it!

At one point, these financial agencies were so popular that even celebrities were promoting them. Social media star Blac Chyna was called out by fans for posting about a scam student loan agency that operated under the name “Obama's Student Loan Forgiveness.” Chyna has since deleted the post, but they remain prevalent:

Always watch for scams on Instagram

Scammers, both online and offline, are masters of deceit. They know all the right things to say to get you to do what they want. Be wary of Instagram accounts that promise:

  • Financial assistance
  • Loan repayment
  • Cash and prizes
  • Cheap luxury items
  • Huge returns on investments

If something sounds too good to be true on Instagram, it most probably is. Be skeptical. If a service or company offers reputable services, they usually won't reach out to you via social media. Practice the “buyer beware” philosophy, and remember it before making a purchase online. Do your research and don't immediately believe everything you see or read — even if your favorite celebrities are promoting something.

There are always going to be scammers flooding popular hashtags with unrelated content. Trust companies which use proper Instagram and hashtag marketing tactics, and be sure you don't fall for something which sounds too good to be true. If not, I know a Nigerian prince who can help you get millions, if you'll give him $5000 right now…

Date: October 10, 2017 / Categories: Tips, / Author: Mariko


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