The more popular our Instagram account becomes (we currently have 94k followers as I write this article,) the more scam emails we receive. I can’t say how many of these emails we’ve received because some of them (thank goodness) end up in the spam folder. However, it’s been dozens, if not hundreds!
Every day, millions of people worldwide fall victim to scams that aim for two things; your sensitive personal information and, yes, you guessed it, money! I am writing this article to warn potential victims of fraud because I had such an experience two years ago, and it was extremely stressful.
Below you will also find some examples of emails that scammers commonly send.
Instagram Copyright Infringement Scams
I received this email today. At first glance, it looked authentic, and I was horrified in the first seconds (even though we already have experience with these emails.)
Anyone running an Instagram account, small or large, wants only the best for their account or brand. So the first thing that everyone would do is to appeal to Instagram by clicking the blue button.
I didn’t click the button because I knew I would be putting myself at great risk. However, I noticed in the Google Chrome bar that the button leads to the following link: bit.ly/3RYmJup.
Hmm, why would Instagram use a URL shortener? Since I don’t know where the link goes, I put a + symbol after the URL address, which allowed me to see the final destination URL. And here we have it:
The shortened bitly link leads to a website that Google doesn’t even index. Since I’m super curious, I want to see what the scam site looks like. But again, I don’t want to put myself at risk. The first thing that comes to mind is to use an online website screenshot tool like site-shot.com.
What do we have here? Error message! Either the website has been reported and is no longer working, or the webmasters are experiencing technical issues. Whatever the problem, this simple trick helped me figure out what they were and that the email I received was a scam.
Examples of Scam Instagram Infringement Emails
Hello *your username* A post you posted on the app received intense complaints and was reviewed by our teams. The community is important to us and we care about every detail. If no objection is made, your account will be deleted. please complete the necessary steps to prevent this from happening.
Copyright Infringement. Hello your username. We regret to inform you that your account will be suspending because you have violated the copyright laws. Your account will be deleted within 24 hours. If you think we make a mistake please verify, to secure your account.
Dear your username, A copyright violation has been detected in a post on your account. At Instagram, we protect your account. but stolen content.
- Report these emails as spam or phishing immediately.
- One single click can rob you of money or your Instagram account. Never click on links or buttons in these emails, no matter how legitimate they look.
- Never share your Instagram password with anyone.
- Use strong passwords and 2FA security.
- Keep your eyes open, and remember that Instagram isn’t the only social network being exploited by scammers.
- Watch out for grammatical errors in emails. They are great indicators of scammers from non-English speaking countries.