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Be wary of recent Instagram and Facebook scams

By: Lisa Marlin

June 22, 2022

Let’s face it. People lie on social media. Most do it without any ill intent. You know, posting about how great their lives are going, filtering out blemishes, and cropping extra pounds.  We ignore it, heart it or hug it and keep scrolling. No harm done.

Instagram scam uncovered

No harm, that is, until scammers pretending to be us try to fool our own followers, such as our high school bestie and our Auntie Maude. Then things can take a turn for the worse when our friends and family take the bait. Recently, an Instagram scam was uncovered where selfies were stolen off users’ accounts to trick friends into clicking through to pages that stole their credit card numbers.

In one instance, a woman’s real Instagram account, along with her name, pictures, and followers, were copied. The scammers used them to create a simple “NSFW” (Not Safe For Work) Instagram account designed to look like it belonged to her, and then they tried to lure her friends into visiting it. This then took them down a rabbit hole of requests for credit card details, and subscriptions none of them needed.

It’s never too late to take action

If photos that you own are used without your permission, the scammer has violated your copyright. You can take action by filling in a DMCA takedown form.

Facebook phishing scam earns culprits millions

Before you think you’re safer over on Facebook, more than eight million users on that platform have fallen prey to a massive phishing campaign that began in September 2021.

Researchers at PIXM claim the threat actors stole one million credentials in four months that garnered millions of dollars in revenue. Facebook users received notifications on Messenger like “Seen this?” “Check this out!” with shortened links that bypass Facebook spam filters. Once clicked, the duped message recipient is officially phished and pulled into bogus promotions, survey scams, and ads.

While many of the sites have been taken down, according to PIXM, many still exist.

Questions to ask yourself to avoid Facebook phishing:

  • Does the person who messaged you really talk or text that way? Do they send messages out of the blue at odd times of day? Pause before responding or clicking on their message.
  • Did you get a “Login to view content” box while already logged in? And is the URL on Facebook.com or an unrelated website? Be suspicious.
  • Can you check the validity of the message with the actual sender, away from Facebook?
  • Do you have 2-factor authentication (2FA) enabled? It’s a good way to protect yourself, but do keep in mind that some phishing sites will also try to steal your 2FA codes.
  • Have you added login alerts to your Facebook account? This allows Facebook to notify you as soon as someone tries to compromise your login credentials and access your account.

There is no need to sign off your favorite social media platforms, just be wary that there could be scammers lurking behind the filtered photos and odd messages. Let your employees and colleagues know to be cautious too. For more information or to ask questions, contact us at info@privaplan.com or call 877-218-7707.