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29 Sep, 2021
Dark Web Trap on Instagram

Since its launch in 2010 Instagram has been the most browsed and celebrated social media as it could satisfy every need of a netigen ever expected. There have been almost 1 billion accounts opened and the service share closes to almost 100 million images uploaded every day.

Instagram's Popularity is like none other as it offers unique virtual features along with special twists on the shared images and videos. On the other hand, it is also used by the influencers to grow their business and make their living.

Lucklessly, this popularity of Instagram is highly useful to the cyber criminals for operating large-scale scams and swindles. According to the report of a credible source, Instagram has been reported to have almost 50% hike in cases of cyber-crime since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Mostly 5 major scams are reported by the account holders of Instagram.

These scams are:

  1. Phishing Scam: Fake links are created to get access to the account details of the account holder. Phishers plan to send suspicious links via email address or instagram direct mail. Through these links you are directed to share your details on a fake website. This procedure is generally preceded with fake Instagram warnings on copyright infringement warnings. One should always delete these links without opening or clicking on it.
  2. Fake Influencer Sponsors: The Scammers are taking the benefit of growing influencers over Instagram. Exploitation of the Influencers could be various. One of the most common is, the scammers pretending to be established brands provide the influencers with a deal. If the influencer believes it to be legitimate, he/she would provide all the band details to get paid.
  3. Romance Scams: Scams are quite simple on Instagram where the fraudsters can go long to trick their victims. Fake online relationships are entered into and long chats and conversations are built. Once the targets are grasped, asking for lump sum payments for various purposes are very common. Upon investigation it has been seen that in these kinds of relationships the partners have never met or seen each other. Hence, it should be avoided to send money to someone completely unknown without meeting them face-to-face.
  4. Giveaway Scams: It is very common for the Instagram influencers to host a giveaway event for lucky winners. These giveaways are often extravagant and expensive like designer dresses, laptops, mobiles, air pods, etc. In these giveaway scams often, the fraudsters ask for complete bank details and an amount of money as "shipping fee" for the gift. These data can be treated for illegitimate purposes.
  5. Loan Scams: It is often seen that Instagram direct messages are flooded with texts for offering loans with zero or comparatively lesser EMI options. All the victim needs is to transfer the details of their bank accounts and a processing fee to the account of the fraudsters.

Tips to stay protected on Instagram:

  1. Pick proper and strong passwords;
  2. Do not over share items like passwords, or personal and bank account details;
  3. Stay vigilant on suspicious links. Do check links before clicking and providing the details;
  4. Consider keeping your profile private, so that it notifies you in case anyone wants to follow you; etc…

Keeping yourself safe on social media is a primary requirement of any user. A user has to be much more aware while putting the personal details on the social media platforms. Enjoying social media can be joyful if one is fully conscious of not letting you get compromised to the dark web users.

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