There are always two sides of the same coin. Social media has made it possible for everyone to stay more connected over the years and across the miles. It’s reconnected old friends and kept families close. Unfortunately, it’s also given scammers the ability to become more sophisticated and creative.
From phishing emails to phone scams, there always seems to be a new tactic being used by people trying to get between you and your money. The latest hunting ground is Instagram. But the good news is that by staying alert, you can avoid many common social media scams, including those on Instagram.
• You receive messages from people or accounts asking you to claim a prize.
• You receive a message from someone you don’t know requesting money.
• You receive messages from unverified accounts of what seem like large companies or public figures. Verified accounts always have a blue badge with a checkmark near the name.
• A direct message appears to come from a familiar account, but it asks you to click on a suspicious link.
• You receive messages or posts that contain poor spelling and/or grammatical errors from users you don’t recognize.
• Someone claiming to be from Instagram security asks for your private account information — usually under the guise of “securing your account.”
• You receive a request to move your conversation off Instagram and continue it on a less public and less secure setting.
If something feels suspicious, trust your gut. You should never give an unknown person or online account the benefit of the doubt.
Here are a few easy ways to protect yourself:
• Don’t click on suspicious links.
• Make your account private.
• Enable two-factor authentication.
• Check your login activity.
• Block suspicious accounts.
• Research suspicious accounts.
If you have any questions or think you may be a victim of fraud, contact your financial institution immediately.
Most financial institutions have fraud prevention and protection measures in place that can help you minimize or eliminate the damage. Always stay informed, stay alert and remember that if it seems too good to be true, it is.