As a social network increases its user volume, it becomes an increasingly desirable target for scammers. On Instagram, one of the most popular platforms in the world, many criminals spend hours looking for a way to deceive users, either to steal your account or get your card details.
The scammers detected a vulnerability that the social network offers against suicides, self-harm and identity theft.
What digital hackers do is veto accounts with false reports where users are accused of violating the terms and conditions. Once the account is closed, they ask for money in exchange for recovering itexplained a report from the site Motherboard.
Cybercriminals typically create an account and report profiles for violating policies regarding suicide and self-harm. When the Instagram algorithm detects that there are many complaints received, it automatically removes this profile.
Scammers charge to get the Instagram account back. AFP photo
The next step for scammers is to offer their “services” for the user to recover through a payment. As much as he tries to recover it on his own, only the criminal has the key to achieve it.
In the clandestine pages you can hire services to block certain accounts in exchange for a sum of money. At the same time, these forums also would allow to restore these accounts that have been disabled by the platform itself.
The main target of this scam is the influencers, who use the social network to earn money and are willing to pay the ransom to reestablish contact with their followers.
If the owner intends to recover his account, he will have to pay a large sum of money. Depending on the number of followers under his belt, the amount can exceed $ 3,500.
Owners must pay $ 3,500 to get their account back. AFP photo
In case the owner refuses to extortion, the scammer can disable an account, create a new one and once verified by the platform, modify the personal data and the image to impersonate the victim.
Another method is the fraudulent report that activates the protocol of the Instagram suicide or self-harm policy. There are even scripts (script) that can be found on the Internet to make mass complaints in an automated way.
The service offers to disable accounts have prices that, according to the Motherboard portal, they vary between 5 and 60 dollars.
These two illicit businesses are linked, since shortly after being the target of a fraudulent disqualification, a message may arrive offering the possibility of recovering the profile in exchange for money.
Motherboard did a survey and concluded that these scams are due to “personal revenge or commercial competition or simple envy.”
Although the methodology was unknown so far, they indicated that it is very recurrent and that from Instagram they are already aware, so are investigating to sanction the responsible accounts who report without reason.
Online scams are becoming more frequent: in recent days one that operates through WhatsApp was spread.