A new Instagram con has people worried. Here’s how to avoid getting hacked in the “hours to make” scam.
People are reporting unusual messages from random Instagram accounts that follow the same misleading script. According to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker, there have been 2,008 Instagram scams reported in the U.S. and Canada since Jan. 1, 2020. The frauds include everything from eCommerce, cryptocurrency, fake checks, counterfeit products, sweepstakes and romance scams. The highest amount lost was a whopping $91,550.
Instagram scams can cost victims big, so here’s how to steer clear of the latest one making the rounds.
The “hours to make” scam exposed
In the scam, users receive a message from a stranger who claims to have edited their photos. The scammer always says, “this took me three hours to make.” Then the person drops a link that’s supposed to lead to the edited photos. The link is actually a trick to get access to your Instagram account. Never click the link!
“That new Instagram hack going around with, ‘this took me three hours to make message’ almost got me,” the user @katwambamutale said.
“What is up with that Instagram hack that’s going around everywhere?” @ThatLGBTBoy721 wrote. “The people that follow me keep sending me the same message! ‘This took me 2/3 hours to make. I really hope you love it. (and gives me a link)’ That link asks me to sign in to my Insta, very dodgy, so be careful!”
How to report scammers on Instagram
1. Click on the user’s profile.
2. Next, tap the three dots located in the upper right-hand corner.
3. Hit “Report.” Then select “Report account” and choose the option “It’s posting content that shouldn’t be on Instagram.”
4. Finally click, “Misleading or possible scam.”
5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 and select “block” to permanently block the account.
Facebook’s guidelines for avoiding scams on Instagram
“Scams on Instagram happen when people create fake accounts or hack into existing Instagram accounts you’ve followed,” the company stated. “The scammers use these fake or compromised accounts to trick you into giving them money or personal information.”
One of the things it tells users to look out for are, “Messages that appear to come from a friend or a company you know that ask you to click on a suspicious link.”
By Facebook’s definition, the “hours to make” scam would be categorized as a “phishing scam.”
“Phishing is when someone tries to get access to your Instagram account by sending you a suspicious message or link that asks for your personal information,” Facebook said.
Once a person has access to your account, they have private information like your phone number or email address. The scammer may also change your password so you can’t log in to your account.
For more information on how to avoid scams on Instagram visit Facebook.com.
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