Fraud on Instagram: criminals rely on these scams

Scam on Instagram
Criminals rely on these scams

If you are not careful, you could stumble into the trap of a scammer on Instagram

© Dean Drobot /

Instagram is not all about beautiful pictures, funny clips and the like. Criminals also try to find victims through the platform.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. However, some of the millions of users hide criminals who abuse Instagram to cheat people. The online service, which has been part of Facebook since 2012, knows that. In a help area, the platform warns of known meshes.

When the romance doesn’t work out

In the “romance scam” cited by Instagram, criminals pretend to be looking for a relationship. They contact strangers and later try to get them money for alleged airline tickets, for example, after they have stolen their trust. In the case of “lottery fraud”, the fraudsters try to pretend to be an organization or the like. They claim, among other things, that users have won a lottery, but first have to pay a fee in order to get the winnings paid out. Criminals can also aim to find out about a victim’s personal data or bank details.

On the other hand, the perpetrators of “credit fraud” often offer instant loans at low interest rates, but only against an advance payment – with which they may then disappear. However, it can also happen that the fraudsters ask for further payments. In “investment fraud”, high profits are promised after investing small amounts. For example, a few hundred euros should turn into thousands of euros within a short period of time. But at some point the invested money is simply gone.

Even with “job fraud” criminals want to get their victims’ data. They lure you with false advertisements. If the offer sounds too good to be true – or if prepayment is required here too – users should pay attention. In addition, Instagram warns against paid subscriptions and advises against generally not responding to such offers from strangers. Beware of phishing as well. Here, too, personal data should be picked up via messages or links, which could be used, for example, to gain access to an Instagram account.

Users should pay attention to this

The above is just a sample of the methods scammers could use. Therefore, Instagram lists a number of signs that could indicate that you are dealing with a criminal. If accounts have only recently been active on Instagram or are posing as well-known companies and are not verified, just as caution is required as with messages that contain countless grammatical or spelling errors.

Even if people ask for money directly or lure accounts with incredible discounts, it could be a trap. In addition, users should not click on suspicious links or go into sending money or codes for gift vouchers if these are required, for example, as a condition for a win.

A detailed list of possible signs and common types of fraud can be found on Instagram on its help page. If you come across a case of fraud as a user, you can also report profiles, posts, messages and comments directly to Instagram.