How scams on Instagram are getting popular

I’ve noticed a lot of direct message requests recently from people who claim to make thousands of dollars a week, and want to get me in on the action. These are obviously pyramid schemes, but how do these schemes get popular? Lauren Monitz says “fake accounts buy likes and followers and post consistently until their profiles seem like the real deal.” (2019, yahoo finance) Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a scam from the real deal. Often, it’s good to keep in mind if something is too good to be true, it probably is. One thing that gets me every once and a while is giveaways. When coming from legitimate company, these giveaways are a good strategy to generate excitement and get new followers. However, there’s hundreds of influencers who buy these products, post pictures of them for a giveaway, and never actually select a winner. It’s even more malicious when they do select winners, require a shipping fee, and never send the product. I was fooled by this before. These people can make thousands off of this, and often get away with it too. I’ve also seen people collaborating with companies and never getting paid for it. As Monitz says “Someone reaches out, offering to hire you for a high-profile photoshoot or campaign for a brand, but the offer isn’t real.” (2019, yahoo finance) These scams are elaborate; people go as far as to make fake schedules and personal  phone calls (Monitz, 2019, yahoo finance). I think the best thing to keep in mind is to look for other people, real people, who have had a good experience with said company before allowing the conversation to continue. If something feels like a scam, it probably is. Never give out any financial or personal information unless you know for sure you’re dealing with a reputable company.


7 thoughts on “How scams on Instagram are getting popular

  1. The beguiler always targeting the website that got a lot of flow, so it would be not too surprising that there are scams on the social application like Instagram. The beguiler is always taken advantage of the greedy mental of consumers. I found a video explaining how those tricky scams work. The second scam is pretty much exactly the scams what I felt in before. The beguiler posted some attractive advertisements for specific costumers; this one I meet before said he is cooperate with Nike and going to send shoes for free. There are a lot of pictures showing different Nike shoes, and it keeps telling how many quotas available. The first time I believe in it because my friends share links to me, and I am too naive on distinguishing scams. After I told him the shoes I want and my home address, the beguiler sent the package to my house; when I opened the box, it is a different shoe from pictures I saw, and it requires a 5 dollar shipping fees, then I realize I fall in the scam. Fall in the scam is not a big deal because this means you pay for a lesson which will always stimulate your alertness.

  2. I have noticed a trend recently of MLMs (multi level marketing) or better known as pyramid schemes blowing up on Instagram. Instagram is a really easy outlet for these “businesses” to attract new customers or reel unsuspecting people into their scheme. It may be hard to identify these MLMs at first because they present themselves as a legitimate business by buying their followers and likes on their posts. They lure people into working for them by sending direct messages to people, usually targeted at younger women, telling them that they too could become a “boss babe” and they could work from wifi and that they could easily generate 6 figures for themselves. They make MLM’s appear really appealing and give you an offer you almost can’t refuse. These business are relentless and will try and get anyone remotely possible involved. Unfortunately a girl I went to high school with now works for a pyramid scheme that she promotes on her Instagram. She direct messages girls from our grade and asks them if they would be interested in the hair care products she is promoting or asks them if they want in on her business. I feel bad for those individuals who are trapped in these pyramid schemes because it is very difficult to leave the business and usually most people have to “invest” so much money up front that they end up losing more money than actually gaining anything, even though they make it appear that they are so well off. MLMs are generated to only keep the top of the pyramid successful and everyone that is at the bottom does not reap any of the rewards or success of the business.


  3. People have manipulated to get things easily via the internet for a while, and this is just a more recent example.

    Another example that I wanted to talk about was the case of Reddit user /u/Unidan. According to Reddit user /u/maciballz (2014), Unidan had 5 accounts which he used to upvote his own posts when arguing with someone and downvoting people he argued with. This way, people could fall into a herd mentality and think to themselves, “everyone else is liking what he says and disliking what his opponent is saying. Surely he must be correct.” He wasn’t doing it for money, but he did break Reddit’s rules regardless, and so his account was banned.

    Yet Another example that we already talked about in class is the guy who sold his high-level World of Warcraft account for thousands of dollars – somebody bought a high-level account instead of putting time in to get it. Stuff like this has existed on the internet for a while.

    References: Reddit user /u/maciballz, (14 November 2014,) A Feast for Crows: The Fall of /u/Unidan, Retrieved on 28 September 2019 from:

  4. The scams like pyramid schemes and fake giveaways are new frauds on social media. I am pretty sure that these are not expected as social media become popular. However, as the users of social media increase, social media is being used in many different ways. Social media is no longer just a place where people post daily pictures.
    I see many people are trying to do some business through Instagram. Especially, in Korea, there are lots of influencers who try to sell the clothes they wear. Though the quality is really bad and the price is high, people easily get fooled and buy it. I see some cases that consumers could not return the products though they are not satisfied with the product. This was because Instagram was not the proper market.
    Also, as mentioned above, through Instagram, we are getting lots of messages about job offers, high wages with fewer efforts. This would obviously attract people and even those under age people.
    We do not have any institutions that regulate the internet since the internet is too broad and too big to regulate. Yet, without any regulations and supervision, there are scams everywhere soon. Thus we now have to think about the starting points for the clean social media.


  5. Instagram has become a cesspool for all scammers alike. From the DM’s of a spam bot to social media influencers advertising products that are not FDA approved. People can now buy clout and inflate their ego through the lucrative business of purchasing fake accounts- upping their follower count. These Instagram bot accounts can also serve a more malicious intent. Before this year I would barely get any spam accounts in my DM’s before this past year, now I am bombarded by these fake accounts with sexualized women as their profile pictures and comically ridiculous usernames. I could not count the amount of these scam bots I had to manually report. It’s unacceptable how easily these accounts pass-through Instagram’s rules and regulations. To add insult to injury, real Instagram users face the reputations of the rules and regulations that they didn’t violate. People should frequently change their passwords, privatize their accounts, and utilize a double-security system. Until these tech companies fulfill their end of the deal, we should take every precaution to ensure our own safety.


  6. Holy jumping these are big facts. I own two instagram pages and it has become to a point where the direct messages have become unbearable. It’s to a point where instagram is broken. First and foremost we see bots posting comments and dm’s on the daily. Usually these bots comment something inappropriate for the world to see. Then, I get dm’s from these same hacker accounts that say “click here” hoping to steal my information or even give me a virus. Every time I see one of these accounts I delete them and block them. To make matters worse, I have been locked out of my account a handful of times and my personally identity and privacy is gone. I did some research and there are a few ways to identify if an account is a bot account. If you don’t know, the link below is very helpful at identifying these bot accounts. To stop this, block the account, contact instagram or hide them from your story.

  7. A particularly dangerous scam that has been sweeping across Instagram lately has been the so called “Nasty List” message. According to Davey Winder, hackers have taken control of numerous accounts by sending users a clickbait message that steals their login information. One example of this is a hacked account sends a direct message to it’s followers saying something along the lines of “OMG you’re on the nasty list, look here,” followed by a link to another webpage. The person on the receiving end, thinking this is a message from a friend, clicks the link to find out why their account is on this “nasty list” only to realize it was all a scam and their own account has just been compromised (Winder). These hackers have likely already compiled a large list of account information. What is unclear, however, is what they intend to do with all this information, as it is likely worth quite a bit of money. On the other hand, they could keep the information for themselves to continue to send spam messages in an attempt to continue to grow the list.


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