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Instagram Scams

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How the scam works:

(with video below) Instagram is the latest in social networking trends. People can share pictures with captions of whatever it is they are doing at the moment. But with their overnight explosion comes the scammers trying to take advantage of Instagram users.

There are three variations of the Instagram Scam:

Scenario 1: Money Flipping (with video).

In this variation, scammers approach Instagramers with proposals of making money online, using the term 'Money flipping'. Watch the video below to see this scam exposed!

Instagram Scam Exposed In The News Video

Scenario 2: Free Stuff

Basically a phishing scam, fake accounts are being created that resemble those of major brand stores and restaurants. Some examples are Jet Blue, Ray-Ban, Best Buy, Chipotle, Delta, American Airlines, WestJet, Lulu Lemon, Southwest Airlines, Apple, British Aiways, Nike, JB Hi-Fi, etc.

best buy scam

These fake accounts offer coupons, flights, or deals in exchange for likes, shares, follows and comments containing your email address so that you can claim your freebies and "giveaways". Of course, you receive nothing and you have now given away your personal identification to the scammers.

The difference between this scam and typical run of the mill phishing scams is the level of sophistication of the communications. The scammers make sure the URL is close to the brand name URL, fooling many people into believing it is a legitimate offer. They also use real offers ran previously by the company to further enforce the belief that they are the real thing.

Scenario 3: Scholarships (with video).

This variation of the scam comes as an educational support for young students. Crooks present scholarship opportunities, such as 'Solomon Jackson Fund'. Watch the video below to see this scam exposed.

Instagram Scholarship Scam Exposed Video

How to avoid:

The only real line of defense is the same for this scam than every other “something for nothing” phishing scam. Make sure to contact the company and verify the offer’s legitimacy. Most larger corporations have entire departments dedicated to handling the influx of requests for these special offers; don’t ever feel like you are bothering an employee by making a verification. It is well worth your time to protect your personal identification. Also, if you use reloadable cards such as MoneyPak, Green Dot, Vanilla Reload, or Ukash - never give the account numbers to anyone.

If you really are into redeeming free stuff online, use only legitimate companies. One of the most trustworthy service out there is Swagbucks.com, which is the world's largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It takes a minute to register, but the rewards are great. You can register for free HERE.

You can find over 800 other scams like this by downloading our Scam Detector app on your cell phone.

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There are 14 comments

  • On Thursday, February 12, 2015, Dani T wrote:


    He instructs you to send money to John Rogers in Cleveland Ohio and that he will add a zero to the transaction and then forward it directly back to you.

    He is an instagram scammer. He changes his name weekly and always has different numbers. He claims he is a moneygram assistant manager "flipper" once he gets the money he stops responding. He blocks and deletes you off instagram. His account is private and he usually adds people that look young, "broke" and impressionable.

    He works in tandem with guys in on his scam. North_blvd and an account he made up called jimmer__winslow.

  • On Tuesday, February 03, 2015, shaye wrote:

    has anyone been scammed by a instagram user @beendoinshit , its seems like a normal person but they talk about flipping money and have pictures with a bunch of money... I don't know if they are a scam artist but If anyone comes across her I wouldn't do it if I were you..

  • On Friday, January 30, 2015, Marilyn Morales wrote:

    I was scam by $300.00 I want my money back! Her name is Jessica_Burma321
    The just took my money on instagram! I reported it to theft they td me contact instagram for my money back

  • On Friday, January 23, 2015, petra wrote:

    theepointe is an Instagram name that runs a fake clothes site. Myself and several others found out it was as scam after ordering and paying by credit card then receiving anything. Myself and the people I know that got scammed left comments to warn others that it was scam and they were immediately deleted and then blocked so we cannot even warn others now.

    I spent $198 and was charged October 8, 2014 and to this day never got the merchandise or a refund.

    If you look at the comments you can see others that they haven't deleted yet that are still trying to reach them but I have yet to find one person that actually got their merchandise. They also run a website which is https://www.thepointe.co I've submitted it to several fraud sites but no one can seem to get them removed.

    I can provide a receipt for purchase and several emails from the company showing they are a scam.
    Jodi Kirk

  • On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, babirose wrote:

    Follow in instagram @blvck.avgel for 67k followers

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