Hacked accounts are common across Facebook and Instagram with unwitting victims seeing their social media profiles becoming the base of operations for all sorts of scam operations. Unfortunately, after having recently reported on a phishing scam targeting Facebook Messenger, we are now bringing you updates on a variety of scams coming from hacked Instagram accounts.
Cybersecurity researchers at Avast have released information on the many different types of scams they are seeing coming from hacked Instagram accounts and some of them are quite shocking. We’ll go through them now as well as having a quick look at how to avoid having your account hacked and what to do if the worst does happen.
We’ve all heard of ransomware, which sees scammers hijacking all your files and data and then demanding a ransom if you want it back. Something similar is happening on Instagram these days, with hackers taking control of users’ accounts and then demanding payment in cryptocurrency to give it back.
Another, particularly chilling variation of this is when the scammers will force victims to record videos saying how much money they have made investing in a scam program before they will give them back control of their account. These videos then end up being spammed across all their friends and even on their Instagram Stories.
Sticking with crypto and getting rich quick, another hacked Instagram account scam relates to fake cryptocurrency investing. The scammers claim to be Bitcoin gurus who can help you get rich. They offer to help you invest your money wisely and then will either disappear with the cryptocurrency you give them to invest on your behalf or will charge a hefty fee for the fake service.
Avast reports that the most prominent way for scammers to hack Instagram accounts is through phishing attacks. These are where you click on a dodgy link which takes you to a malicious website that allows them to steal your details. To avoid this happening, you must always be wary of any messages you receive from strangers and assess all links you receive against our anti-phishing guidelines criteria.
If you do get hacked, however, you will have to go through the Instagram recovery process and then change your password. You should then block the account that sent you the dodgy message in the first place and report them to Instagram.
Just remember, be wary of everything that is even just a little bit suspicious because the internet is full of scams that you would never think to check.