Instagram scams are extremely popular with cybercriminals nowadays. Social media has made it clean for strangers to earn your acceptance as true through impersonating humans or brands. Sometimes, those cybercriminals spend some days speaking with you before pulling their threat. As this hazard rises, you need to want to know the symptoms of the scams to keep away from being robbed of your cash / or identity.
Hence, learning how to identify an Instagram Frauds or Instagram Scams is necessary for all Instagram users on the platform.
Can Instagram be Hacked? What are the Instagram Scams available?
Yes, Instagram can be hacked if you are careless on using your Instagram account. If you are not following the Instagram security policy then your Instagram account will be hacked.
Let’s see the different Instagram scams available,
1. Fake Followers
Many people are getting affected with fake followers. Bots are also creating fake accounts. Many of the fake followers will not have posts or photos. If the comments are irrelevant and rubbish then they are from fake followers.
2. Fake Account and Profile Pictures
Scammers create fake accounts and fake profile pictures and cheat the Instagram users. The main purpose of creating this fake account is making friendship with the legitimate users and use the victims for online dating and romantic relationships. Their profile accounts will be very attractive and they use some of the celebrities’ pictures as their profile picture.
While it might be complimenting to be played with by an appealing individual, never trust any new sentimental enthusiasm on Instagram until you’ve affirmed the individual is genuine.
Scammers promise people that if you invest some small amount of money, then you can earn a huge amount of money overnight. Once you send your hard earned cash to the account which the criminals say, then you can’t see that money back.
Some money scams include paying the amount to buy the products or participating in the events that really don’t exist. Scammers also claim you won something and request a fee to give you the gifts.
Scammers also claim to let you borrow money immediately with an initial fee. They deceives you to pay for deal access services like video streaming, games etc.,
What Happens when you answer a spam call?
When you attend the spam call, if you are not revealing your identity or credentials nothing will happen.
4. Instagram Phishing Scams
Scammers use Phishing attacks in every social media network including Instagram. The cyber criminals will send an email saying your Instagram account is at danger and you need to log in to protect your account. The email will provide you with a link, when you click the link, it takes you to a fake Instagram login page that looks legitimate. Once you give your login details, the hackers use your passwords to hijack the Instagram account.
In this phishing scam, different types of warning will come from scammers.
- Your account has been hacked, so click this link and protect your account.
- Some strangers signed up your Instagram account using your Email address, so to protect your account click this link.
- A fake Instagram account password reset confirmation email.
- A spam that your account violated copyright and will be deleted if you don’t sign in to confirm immediately.
Instagram never sends an email like this. So if you receive the email you should be alert on that. You have to directly open the Instagram account and check if any such notifications are received there. If not, ignore that.
5. Instagram advertisement Scams
You will get a lot of fake advertisements to buy the products, but you will end up with the non-quality products. Sometimes after payment you will not get any products. So if you want to buy that product, use the branding sites and buy the product directly.
What are the dangers of Instagram Scams?
If you have fallen on Instagram scams, then the following dangers may happen.
- Your Identity may be stolen.
- Bank Accounts will be drained.
- Your Online accounts will be breached
- Your credit will get lost.
- The malware may spread everywhere the systems which are connected.
So if you are the victim, immediately should take care of the security and protection steps.
How to Secure Your Instagram Account from Instagram Scams?
Instagram has presented various highlights proposed to make sure about your profile account. There are settings you can figure out how to control your account’s security and guarantee nobody breaks into your account. Here’s the way to make your Instagram account more secure.
Change your account Private
Anyone can see your pictures and videos when you post on Instagram. It is the default option. But better you set your account to private via Settings -> Privacy-> Account Privacy and toggled Private Account ON. Then you can communicate with the people with your allowed followers only.
The allowed followers will be able to see your posts, and can put like and give you the direct comment etc., If it’s the Private Account Google also will not index your photos to Google photos.
Toggled “OFF” the Activity Status
Instagram has a setting permitting people to see when you are in Online; Turn it off via Settings > Privacy > Activity Status and toggle the option off. It will avoid the unnecessary intrusions.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
If you feel someone hacking your account and posting without your knowledge, then implement Two Factor Authentication (2FA). If you implement Two Factor Authentication, then after giving a password without your physical access to your connected device can’t access your account.
To set up the Two Factor Authentication select the settings, then Security > Two-Factor Authentication > Get Started. If your phone is having connectivity issues and can’t receive an SMS security code, that’s where recovery codes come in. Go to Settings > Security > Two-Factor Authentication > Recovery Codes, and use the displayed code to log in.
How to block Instagram Account?
How to block someone’s Instagram account is given below. Here you will get the answer for How to mute Instagram account also.
If you feel any cyberbullying or posting not appropriate, you can report them to Instagram. You can do this on the account’s profile page, or directly through an individual post, comment, direct message, or story. You can fill the form and report on Instagram’s website also. If Instagram feels that the account, comment, or video hijacks its terms of service, the account will be suspended. When you report the particular user, Instagram blocks the user for you.
Instagram has also taken more targeted action to stop cyberbullying on the platform. You can activate the following setting and you can add the account manually only. Go to Settings > Privacy > Restricted Accounts.
Once Restrict is enabled, comments on your posts from restricted users will only be visible to that person. You can view the comment by clicking “See Comment,” then select to approve it, delete it, or ignore it. You will not receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.
How to Mute Instagram Account?
One more option is available that is Mute account, instead of blocking the account, you still remain friends with them, but don’t want to see their feeds. In such case, Go to Settings > Privacy > Muted Accounts to manage your mute list.
When You click the Right three dots on the selected user, You will get the following three options. From that you can, Block, Restrict or Report the selected user.
To find the account is legitimate or not, Instagram has tools to help identify legitimate accounts and scammers. Go to profile, click the three-dot menu, and choose About this Account. This will show you when the user joined Instagram, location of them, any ads they are running and their shared followers. Based on this information, if you want to block the account, you can block that particular account.
Secure Payment Options
Go to Settings > Payments > Security Pin and turn it on, which gives an additional layer of security in case you misplace your device.
Don’t Permit to Access Your Location
The important step you should take is “turned OFF” your location settings. Go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services, toggled “OFF” the location.
This is mainly important for the check-ins made at home, at work or while on a vacation. There are more cases of thieves that were doing the theft using these social media check-ins. People go for a short vacation, but they intimate through social media check-ins, when they return back the house is emptied by the thieves.
Approve Photo Tags Manually
If someone posts an embarrassing photo and tagged you without your knowledge, then just imagine the situation, if your family people or colleagues or friends have seen that.
So you should always hand-approve each tag, on Instagram.
1. Go to your Instagram profile account and access the Photos
3. Click the menu button in the top-right corner.
4. Choose the option to add photos manually to your profile.
Control Comments and Stories
You can set content filters to hide certain words or phrases. Further select who can comment (everyone, people you follow and your followers, people you follow, or your followers). Go to Settings > Privacy > Comments, here you can manage that.
Manage the Story
You can hide your stories from particular accounts by, go to Settings > Privacy > Story, , set message reply permissions, and determine whether or not users can share these stories.
These are the the above security settings you should follow to secure your Instagram account from the Instagram Scams.
Is it safe to follow strangers on Instagram?
If they have a public account they are okay with strangers following them, but people with private account are not good with that.
Common Security Tips to follow to avoid Instagram Scams
- Don’t post sensitive information in your photos or captions
- Don’t reveal your location
- When possible, make sure the location is not revealed by background details
- When possible, don’t use hashtags that may reveal private data (or the location)
- Don’t post provocative or violent photos
- Don’t post photos of other people without their consent
- Do not engage in online bullying
- Parents, please don’t post photos of your kids on social media or do it sparingly
- If you log into your Instagram account from other devices (public/shared), make sure you log out every time
Here, we have discussed different types of Instagram scams and how to secure the Instagram account. We have also discussed the common security tips to follow before posting the posts on Instagram.