Scammers attempting to steal Instagram passwords, email logins

Generic Instagram app image.
Generic Instagram app image.(MGN)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 4:24 PM EST
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(Gray News) - The Better Business Bureau is alerting those who use email and social media about a new type of phishing scam.

The organization says Instagram users are receiving what appears to be an official email from the social media platform reporting the user has violated copyright laws, and that their account will be deleted within 24 hours.

The bogus message continues, “Don’t worry! If you think that Instagram has made a mistake, all you need to do is click the button and verify your account.” Then the user is taken to a website that prompts them to input their Instagram credentials.

The BBB says most scams would end after that prompt, but this one then sends users to another popup window asking them to verify their email address and password before finally redirecting them to an official Instagram page.

Several users have reportedly already fallen for this scam as the final redirect back to Instagram is lending credibility to it.

Here are a few alerts not to fall victim to such phishing scams from the BBB:

  • Double-check the “from” email address and link destinations. Hover over any links in an email you receive to see where the link really leads. Suspicious links are one of the main giveaways of email scams. Also, make sure the “from” address is actually from the business it claims to be.
  • Understand how businesses handle communications. If you know how a company handles disputes and suspicious activity with your account, it will be easier to spot a scam. Will they email you? Call? Send a text message?
  • Look into the claims. Don’t act without first verifying the claims. Log into your account or look up the company’s official phone number (check your bill or welcome email) and call them to confirm that there really is a case of suspicious activity associated with your account before you decide what to do.
  • Don’t panic and don’t feel intimidated. Scammers want you to panic. They may use intimidation tactics, such as claiming your account will be shut down in 24 hours, to pressure you into giving up your personal information or making payments. Legitimate businesses will not intimidate you in this way. Stay calm and think things through before you act.

The BBB also offers more tips for spotting email and social media scams.

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