Instagram Is Becoming An Avenue For The Proliferation Of Online Scams

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Instagram Shopping

Instagram continues to expand from being an avenue for self-expression through capturing photos to becoming a digital shop window, especially for clothing labels and other merchandise items. The photo-sharing platform is now offering features that transform the medium into a profitable marketplace. This update is called ‘Instagram Shopping,’ where followers can purchase their favorite brand’s product within the app, eliminating the hassle of lengthy web searches.

Back in October 2017, Instagram primarily released its ‘Instagram Shopping’ app to different companies in the US, and luckily, it was embraced by enthusiastic customers. And last Tuesday, as the social media platform paves its way in the business world, another app was launched to partner with Facebook.

The new shopping feature is known as ‘Checkout’ allows users to make purchases without leaving Facebook. This means that Instagram will be sending the desired items to the buyer and all transactions are done without navigating away from the Facebook app.

However, although this is a promising start for Instagram to lead the online marketing world, it is never safe from scammers. As the business continues to grow and contributes to the economy, it also created a way for scammers to pester and cheat from people.

Online scams remain a severe problem with thousands of victims becoming prey to these illegal tactics each year. Instagram cheats are popping up, and these scams are not affecting the elderlies who have limited idea to technology, but also to almost everyone including the younger generation who tend to stay on the site for hours.

One of the popular scams, nowadays, is sending direct messages to your social media accounts’ inboxes. It may sound familiar to some, or this type of strategy might have happened to you already one way or another.

Here’s how it works. A message will pop up to inform the target that the user needs to log in on his or her Instagram account and should verify it. If you haven’t encountered one, the link that these people provide even looks legitimate or valid such as ‘instagram.com/verification.’ Just a click and you will be directed to a fake Instagram screen.

Many users fall for this as it does not only looks convincing but also looks authenticated. The direct message may appear like it is from Instagram itself, but apparently, it’s not. The profile being used is a fake one, and if you are not too keen on checking the entire site first before clicking on the link and giving out your personal information, you’ll be fooled.

Based on the research of Mediavine Finance, the trick here is that, after you have logged in all your data to the fake Instagram site, scammers will then have complete control and access to your login information. The form is a phony one, and you’re merely providing hackers with the right information that they need to get ahead of you.

The tricky part is that Instagram scams usually offer customers with varieties of branded items which, again, may seem legitimate. Victims often end up having to pay for the product upfront and may not get what they exactly pay. The items are not only fake but have defects, low-quality knock offs or damaged. Did I not mention, you’re also paying for the shipping fee?

And, the worst is that customers wait for the orders to arrive for several months only to find out that they have been scammed and the product never turns up at all.  

Today, Instagram is reviewing its policies to catch most of the policy-violating ads or any unknown companies and individuals who use the site for illegal purposes. The social media platform also “continuously working to improve its security measures since some still manage to slip through.”

There are a lot of ways and strategies for scammers to fool every one of us. They are smart, and most of them execute their plans thoroughly. In many cases, you can spot scams by simply being skeptical. This method also goes for Facebook and Twitter scams. You don’t need to hire online scam investigators to detect the difference between fraudulent and legal transactions. Others do a background check, but this type of people is not worth all the hassle.

If you have encountered one or suspect that these transactions are illegal, the easy way out is to ignore. Or, the best thing you can do is to verify with an outside source, as it is particularly crucial to do a series of validation in a situation like this. Even if it appears legitimate, checking is the key to avoid scammers. Also as what experts always say, you can google the URL for the website to see if other people are complaining, and do research products before even purchasing. We can all be vigilant in our little ways.

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