An Instagram DM scam that has been in circulation since last year appears to be back. With the phishing scam, fraudsters can get access to your Instagram account without you even knowing about it. The scam was first reported in June 2021 and it is still in circulation. If you fall for it, you end up providing login credentials to the fraudsters yourself. Several cybersecurity experts have also issued a warning for this scam.
How this scam on Instagram happens
Fraudsters first send a link on Instagram with the caption “This took me 3 hours to make. I really hope you love it”. A few times the caption is backed by a story. The link preview appears as if it is an Instagram post. The moment you click on the video to check whether it is actually you or not in the video, you will be directed to an Instagram login page.
On the new page, you will see a prompt claiming that you will not be able to see the post unless you login to your Instagram account and that is where the scam is. You are then redirected to a fake Instagram login page that is specifically designed to access the information that you type-in. The page looks similar to the original Instagram website and the moment you enter your credentials, fraudsters take control of your account.
It is worth noting that the moment you share your login credentials, an automated bot will share the same link to more Instagram users through your account. With this, fraudsters can easily trap your followers using your credibility.
How to know if a link is malicious
There are various ways to check whether a link that you have received is dangerous or safe but the easiest way to check is to go through the URL. If you want to be sure about a link received on Instagram, check if the URL starts with HTTPS or HTTP. Almost all websites are now following HTTPS protocol, including Instagram. HTTPS uses the SSL/TLS protocol to encrypt data and any page claiming to be Instagram and does not have HTTPS in the URL can be malicious.