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Instagram User Scams

Instagram User Scams

Feb 15, 2024

I am sure you've heard about Instagram, Facebook or email hoaxes or scams before.

Typically, they are messages that are sent to unsuspecting users, threatening them about something or other and telling them that if they don't take some sort of specific action like 'click the link below to verify your account', it's going to be disabled, deleted or something worse, in the next 24 hours.

I never thought I'd get one as a direct message on Instagram, but about two weeks ago I did. I received a message addressing me as 'Hello User' saying that the owner of a post I'd shared had complained about a copyright breach and if I didn't take the necessary action to confirm my account by replying to the message with "Hello" to be sent a link, my account was going to be deactivated in 24 hours.

It looked legitimate with the Meta address and a case number at the bottom. However, on closer inspection and another bit of Googling, it turns out that Meta Platforms Inc's address is in fact 1601 Willow Road Menlo Park, CA 94025 as in the image but where I've circled the number, you can see the first didgit is in fact a capital i 'I', not a 1 as it should be.

After the initial shock I realised that I hadn't ever shared someone else's posts on my account, so I decided to do some investigation. I did a Google search using the words 'Instagram hoaxes Hello User account will be deactivated' and found that it was indeed a scam and had been doing the rounds for a while.

Next, I went back to the message, found the username and looked that up through my Mount Shots IG account. I found that it had no profile pic or bio, 0 posts, 10 followers and was following 135, definitely a hacker.

On my Ursula Hurn account, where I'd received the message, I reported the account as a scam or fraud, blocked the user and then deleted the message.

My advice is if you ever receive anything like this from an Instagram user that has no profile picture, please don't do what they say! Do a Google search, using some key words from the message, which I am sure will tell you it's a scam or hoax and then simply report and block the account and delete the message.

Too many innocent IG users are coerced into doing something through threats, that then gives the hacker control of their accounts.

So, first breath, then Google search, then report and block!!

If you have any questions about this or you'd like to know the username of the user that sent the message, please just get in touch! I checked through my Mount Shots IG account this morning, and the account is still there, so I've reported and blocked it from that account as well!

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to email me directly.

Big hugs till next time!

PS: I know it's February, but it's never too late to start planning, so download your free 2024 annual planner and if you'd like updated calendar every year, make sure you select the YES radio button.

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