Hackers and scammers will go to any lengths to get your personal information and if they can get you to give it up willingly, it’s even better for them. Social media platforms are popular stalking grounds for scammers, and they target indiscriminately.
Facebook and Twitter are arguably more popular with scammers, but that doesn’t mean Instagram isn’t being used. In fact, you should be more vigilant against phishing attempts on the photo-sharing platform, as most users don’t expect to be targeted. Tap or click here for an Instagram hoax that’s fooling the internet.
But a recent scam has brought Instagram back into the spotlight. Several users have reported that messages have been sent to their accounts about copyright complaints against their posted photos.
Here’s the backstory
People are receiving direct messages from an account called “Copyright Help Center.” The messages claim that your account violated some form of copyright. The real copyright center for Instagram can be found here.
“A copyright violation has been detected in a post on your account,” reads the message. It continues: “You should provide feedback. Otherwise your account will be closed within 24 hours. You can give feedback from the link below.”
Warning: Do not click the link! It’s a phishing scam.
The message might seem legit, but Instagram has come out to warn people about the dangers of these messages. Instagram doesn’t send messages through a “Copyright Help Center.”
It also explained that it would never send you any direct messages, and if you receive something like that, it is most definitely fake or a scam.
This is just another elaborate phishing scam to rip you off. Instagram warned that the link is designed to capture any details of the user it can. Hackers can then use the info to take over your account, create other accounts in your name, or try to scam others.
What you can do about it
There are signs that an email, message or notification could be a scam. In this case, the link is clearly not to the official website. By hovering your cursor over the link, you’ll see it does not direct you to Instagram.
In the example message, the link starts with web-instagramsupport.ml — which is a nice attempt at spoofing the URL, but it’s obviously not the real deal. To avoid being scammed, never click on links that you receive in unsolicited texts or emails.
To safeguard your login details and prevent anybody from hijacking your account, you should also turn on two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra step when logging into your account. Tap or click here to find out how to set up 2FA for your social media accounts.