Everyone loves Instagram. Everyone loves to scroll through the feeds of their favourite celebrities and check their stories now and then. Many of you comment on their pictures, some even slide into their DMs.
Sometimes even you may have received a few DMs from unknown accounts willing to help you increase your follower count on the photo-sharing application. Now, replying to these fake accounts can get you embroiled into a phishing scam.
Recently, many popular Instagram users including the likes of José Covaco, Sumeet Vyas, Sapan Verma and others received a similar DM from different accounts, saying "copyright violation has been detected" in a post of theirs.
The message also threatens to close their account within 24 hours if they don’t provide feedback on a given link. "If you think the copyright infringement statement is false, you must provide feedback. Otherwise, your account will be permanently deleted from the platform within 24 hours," the message reads.
At the onset, the message seems convincing as the fraudulent account uses the official Instagram company logo. The message is also signed off with the real address of Instagram’s headquarters -- 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 4722. However, the message is fake can be understood by the fact that the photo-sharing application never contacts its users about account information or account issues through DMs. Instagram sends an email to its users in such cases.
According to a report, if you click on the given link, you will be redirected to a fake Instagram page and asked to give your email id, date of birth, and Instagram password. "After obtaining all the private information of the users, the phishing page redirects them to the official Instagram login page for maintaining the illusion that the copyright objection form was authentic. If the Instagram users fall for this trick, the hackers can take control of their accounts undisturbed," read the report.
Recently, actor Sumeet Vyas' Instagram account was hacked for a few hours after he received a similar message. "Hello hello, If you received a message saying copyright violation, do not click on it. It's a Trap!!! My account was hacked for a few hours," he said.
José Covaco also received a similar message. In his case, it was more surprising that a verified soft drink account had sent him this message. "This is new. The VERIFIED Appy Fizz account on Instagram is now one of those Instagram Support Scam pages. Be careful," he tweeted.
Stand-up comedian Sapan Verma commented on Covaco's tweet and said that he had also received the same fraudulent message. "Happened to me with a verified t-shirt brand account last week. They restored it in two days and then send DMs apologising lol," he said.
Finally, a lesson for you Instagram users, don't click on any suspicious link on the photo-sharing app or even otherwise.