Instagram 3 key pitfalls you can avoid

From common cybercrime, such as phishing, to the blueprint on Instagram profiles that indicate a genuine profile with many followers, Amer Owaida, from the international cybersecurity company ESET, helps us understand the most common tactics used by scammers to trick their victims into this popular social platform.Instagram

And as social media companies try to control their platforms and keep them as secure as possible, it is not easy to stop scammers who are determined to deceive social media users and extract both sensitive data and their money.

Instagram, for example, is one of the four most popular social networks in the world with over 1 billion active users. With such a number of users it is certain that this platform will attract cyber criminals like honey bees.

The good news is that you can easily spot most scams if you approach everything you see with a healthy dose of doubt and stay alert.

In this article, Amer Owaida, from the international cybersecurity company ESET examines three of the most common scams you may encounter as you scroll through Instagram and connect with other users via instant messaging.

The. Romantic scams

While most people associate romantic scams with dating apps, in fact, romantic scams can happen on social media as well as on social media. Instagram. These types of scams, however, presuppose that the scammer has gained the trust of his potential victims.

This usually involves a prolonged period of flirting, which will probably start with the scammer liking the victim's posts, commenting, and eventually sending direct messages. Once the scammer ascertains that he is under the influence of the victim, then he will start asking for money to overcome a fake medical emergency or to pay for air travel to meet you, etc.

And if you find it somewhat unlikely that someone will fall victim to a romantic scam, think again. According to the US Federal Trade Commission, in 2020, the losses from romantic scams reached a staggering amount of 304 million dollars, and this amount includes only the cases reported in the US alone.

What can you do: Fortunately, there are several ways to spot a pseudo-heart attacker trying to relieve you of your money. If fiancés look too good to be true, do a quick reverse search of their photos in Google Images to find out if they really are who they say they are. If they start canceling appointments or finding excuses not to meet with you, this should make you suspicious and ask them about their motives. Another warning sign is if they are trying to avoid video calls, as in such a case it will turn out that they look nothing like the photos they have in their profile.

Fishing… electronic of course

If we used a relatively small exaggeration to describe electronic fraud "fishing"We could say that it is as old as the Internet itself and is a type of scam that cybercriminals like.

Simply put, their ultimate goal is to trick you into gaining access to your personal information and credentials and then using them in various illegal activities - either to commit identity theft or to sell them on the dark internet.

One of the most common ways to deceive yourself is to make it feel like it is a critical or urgent situation. For example, they will send you deceptive emails claiming that an unauthorized user may have logged in to your account.

In such a case, the email usually includes a fake password reset link, which, once clicked, will take you to a fake Instagram login page, which will collect your credentials and allow fraudsters to access your password. your account.

Alternatively, scammers may imply that you are experiencing copyright infringement issues and that you need to fix the issue by clicking on a link and filling out a form. However, if you do this, you will be redirected to another fake login page. Sometimes scammers will pretend to contact you from the Instagram support department.

What can you do: In order not to fall victim, notice some signs such as if there are spelling mistakes and bad grammar in the text or if they do not address you by name but use a more general word such as "Dear" etc. Finally, another thing to watch out for is sender's email address: if not associated with an official email address, it is most likely a fraud.

Verification badge scam

One of the things to look out for on Instagram is account verification scams, or verification signal scams, if we want to be precise. The blue verification mark next to an Instagram account indicates that the account actually belongs to a celebrity, influencer or company.

The coveted blue verification sign certainly means that you have a large audience that follows you and that you have some degree of influence in your community. This opens the door to various opportunities, such as making money from your content through sponsorship deals with various companies to showcase their products.

Well, scammers are betting on this coveted blue badge. The scam is relatively simple: the scammer will contact you, most likely via instant messaging, offering you a verification of your profile for a fee. However, if you pay, the only thing that will be verified is the fact that you have been the victim of fraud.

What can you do : You just need to know that the only way to get the blue verification mark is through Instagram itself, following its Terms of Use and Instructions and going through the formal application process. The social networking platform regularly searches for malicious agents and if it finds that an account has been verified beyond the usual means, it will take immediate action.

In summary

The best advice is the one you have heard over and over again: do not blindly trust anyone and always double check the information. Be careful with spam, if something seems strange to you to check and if something looks too good to be true then chances are it is a scam.

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