Singapore – There have been at least 110 police reports this year of scams related to Instagram account takeovers.
In a media release Monday night, police warned that two variants of such scams trick victims into allowing scammers to take over Instagram accounts.
In the first variant, scammers pose as potential customers and target Instagram business accounts.
After chatting with the account owner through the direct message feature, scammers claim to want to verify the owner’s identity before making a payment.
They tell the victim that they will receive a message from Instagram with a link to confirm this and ask them to take a screenshot of the message and send it to them.
The scammers then trigger a password reset for the business account and Instagram automatically sends the victim a genuine password reset message.
If you take a screenshot of this message and send it to the scammers, they will find out that your account has been hacked and taken over.
In the second variant, potential victims receive a direct message from an unknown Instagram account asking them to participate in a fake lucky draw with a chance to win money.
Victims are said to have to change their Instagram login information and send a one-time password (OTP) to the sender to verify their identity in order to qualify.
Those who did soon found out that their accounts had been hacked and taken over.
Some of the hijacked accounts are later used by scammers to post investment-related scams or to approach the original user’s followers to participate in fake investments.
The public should be wary of strangers contacting them on social media and never give out personal information, account reset links, or OTPs, even to friends and family.
Instagram users are also encouraged to set up two-factor authentication for their accounts.
Anyone with information about such crimes should call the police hotline at 1800-255-0000 or file a police report online. www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.
Details of the scam are accessible to the public. www.scamalert.sg Or call the anti-fraud hotline at 1800-722-6688.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/police-warn-of-instagram-account-takeover-scams Police warn against Instagram account takeover scam