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Instagram Scams-Tips For Staying Safe on Instagram

Instagram is now highly susceptible to hacks and phishing attacks. The reason? A huge number of users are without proper knowledge of security. Hackers target mostly those accounts, which have little or no security. Hackers also target accounts with a large number of followers. The reason why it is so easy to hack accounts is that most of the time users themselves provide some crucial information about themselves or their accounts to hackers. Users get lured by fake lucrative offers of collaborations, rewards, etc. In this article, I will share with you some tips to recognize potential threats that can cause havoc to your Instagram account.

Some common types of scams that Instagram users face:

  1. Fake Messages
  2. Rewards of online games
  3. Fake DMs from fake Instagram accounts
  4. Phishing emails
  5. Deceptive links

Fake Messages

Fake Messages come autogenerated from the account of a friend or a person you follow, mentioning that his/her account has been hacked, and you need to help out by following some instructions. These instructions will surely compromise your account. If a user has more than a million followers

What you can do?

You can ask your friend on Facebook or WhatsApp, or any other media, if they have really sent you any messages. Don’t click on any link. Do nothing. That will be best for you.

Rewards Of Online Games

Many online games, which have in-app purchases, offer rewards and coins in exchange for some tasks. If you observe carefully, the tasks are usually installing another game and playing some levels of it, logging in to your Facebook, Instagram account or any such app account, etc. Players in lure of rewards and coins, login using their Facebook, or Instagram login credentials. Some games are legit, but most of the times, these are big scams compromising your identity, account information, passwords, etc. 

What you can do?

Never fall in trap of these games. If you can afford to spend real cash for popular games of App Store or Play Store, then go for it. Else, don’t use free VPN services and play the games on servers of other countries. Mostly those versions of the games asks you to perform such misleading tasks.

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Fake DMs from fake Instagram accounts

These DMs come from fake accounts of public figures like actors, sportsperson, influencers, vloggers, etc. Whenever you comment on posts of your favorite celebrity, you might get direct message or DM from fake accounts of those celebrities. Mostly, they ask for your support in form of some monetary contribution. Sometimes, the scammers also announce that you have been selected as the top fan of the celebrity and you have won a huge prize. All you need to do is pay the customs duty, or the shipping charge. If you are aware of such scams then it’s good for you. If not, it is time you educate yourself about these common scams.

What you can do?

Never pay anything to any one via DM. Instagram or Facebook have features such as stars. If you want to support your favourite personality, you can send stars to their verified account. Other than that, never respond to any DMs from any person claiming to be a public figure or his secretary. Also, if you are sending stars, always check if the profile is genuine. Many scammers put a verified badge emoji. Those look a lot different for the actual Verified badge

Phishing Emails

Phishing emails come to your email ID registered with Instagram. These mails appear as if they are coming from Instagram. These phishing emails claim that your Instagram account will expire in 3 days and you have to reset the account in order to retain it. As soon as you click the link provided by them, all your vital information will be passed on to the scammers.

What you can do?

Instagram accounts never expire. No matter how many years you haven’t logged in, Instgram will never mail you.

Always remember to check from which email account, the mail is coming. Any genuine mail from Instagram will always end with @instagram.com. This means they are coming from Instagram.com

Scam email accounts look like this:

  • account@instagram@prr.xz
  • Instagram.com@xpr.com

Check out the part marked in Bold letters. These will reveal the identity of the scammers.

Deceptive Links

These are somewhat similar to what I have written in the previous points. You can get deceptive Links over email, Instagram fake account DMs, Facebook, etc. The links are accompanied with fear provoking messages, such as, “your account will expire in 1 day”, “your password has been hacked, reset it” and so on.

What you can do?

Check if the email is coming actually from Instagram.com. I have already mentioned how to identify and differentiate between fake email accounts and authentic email accounts.

Important Tip:

Enable two factor authentication or use Authenticator app which generates codes. Whenever you login to a new device, Instagram will ask for the PIN. Check your Authenticator app and enter the pin. This way, no one else will be able to login.

Debaleena
A blogger with a zeal for learning technology. Enchanted to connect with wonderful people like you.