These are the top five scams committed on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most accessed social networks in the world, with more than 1 billion active users per month. But such large numbers also attract cybercriminals.

  • Blow promises verification on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to kidnap accounts
  • Facebook pays US$ 30 thousand per discovery of vulnerabilities on Instagram
  • Essential tips to keep Facebook, Twitter and Instagram safe

A survey by ESET, a threat detection company, shows the main types of cyber crimes and scams being applied on the platform. On the list, phishing and cloned account attacks are present, as well as romantic scams, no longer exclusive to dating apps.

For Camilo Gutiérrez Amaya, head of the ESET Research Laboratory in Latin America, social networks even try to moderate the platforms so that they are safe, but it is difficult to deal with scammers who use the human emotions to get money and sensitive data. Gutiérrez, however, also claims that these frauds can be easily detected, especially if users verify the information and don’t blindly trust everything in the applications.

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The top cyber crimes on Instagram

ESET released the top five scams that occur most on Instagram, as well as tips on how to protect yourself from each of them. Check out the following list:

  • Phishing

    : the famous scam where the user is tricked into having their personal information and access credentials stolen is also present on Instagram. The most used strategy on the social network for this scam is to provoke a sense of urgency, with a fraudulent email saying that the victim’s personal account has been hacked and that she must enter her information in the link contained in the message. ESET recommends that, to avoid falling into this type of scam, the user pays close attention to specific elements of the messages, such as grammatical errors or generic greetings;

  • Attack of cloned accounts

    : Have you seen those identical celebrity profiles on Instagram? They are cloned accounts that try to impersonate people in order to deceive social network users. However, this scam is not exclusive to celebrities, with regular users being able to have their account cloned so that criminals can contact the friends of the now victim. ESET recommends that, in cases of distrust of any message, users try to contact the alleged person through other means of communication;

  • Verified account swipe

    : the blue mark on the profile, which indicates that that account is authenticated and really belongs to who it claims to be, is taken as a of the main status tools of the social network, in addition to making users search for advertising actions. Criminals know this, and send messages to accounts without the seal offering verification for a fee. However, if payment is made, nothing changes. ESET recommends distrusting any message offering something like this on the social network;

  • Romantic scams: the scammer tries to gain the victim’s trust through the social network, starting when the criminal likes and comments on all the user’s posts, and then sends a direct message. When the attacker believes that he already has the person’s trust, he starts asking for money, using as justification a medical emergency or a trip so that he can find the victim. In this case, ESET makes the same recommendation as for cloned accounts, that is, look for the person in other media;

  • Doubtful sellers

    : Instagram has functions that allow its users to sell items on the platform. However, some of these ads may be fake, so users must always be on the lookout. ESET recommends that if the product in question is being sold by an unknown store, users conduct a more in-depth research about the company, especially about complaints or suspicions, before making the purchase.

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