You might have heard about Email Phishing as a cybercrime fraud very often. Each day we receive numerous emails in our account seeking our personal data. These mails are covered in a veil so that the users can’t differentiate between legitimate organizations and fraud impersonated organizations. One such variant of email phishing is Instagram Copyright Scam.
What is it, and how is it done?
How can you identify it?
Are you a victim of such scams?
Confused and caught in such a situation?
Want to know your way out?
Here is all that one should know about such scams.
3G, 4G, Vodafone, Sathyam, and Stock Market Scams are very popular yet out-dated. Social media sector scams are in the trend these days. With the increase in the use of social media platforms, scams connected to them are also increasing. Instagram is one such platform where popular celebrities or verified account holders and common people, millennials, and even animals, for that matter, have their accounts. One of the interesting facts of this application is that once you cross a certain number of followers or get a blue tick (signifies verified account); you can make a fortune out of your account.
With such an easy way to earn money, people tend to hack the accounts or send copyright infringement mails stating that the account might be locked within 24-72 hours if no action is taken. No one likes their account to be locked and seeing such mails, our instincts stop working, and we tend to fall for it. That’s how you become victimized. THE FIRST QUESTION WE WOULD ANSWER HERE IS WHAT ARE THESE SCAMS, AND HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? Instagram contains certain community guidelines that every User must follow. Any violation of such guidelines can permanently lead to the deactivation of your account by giving you a notice of such violation and asking you to rectify it. This is the basic practice followed. But, at certain times, it is very difficult to identify whether the emails are from an authentic organization or an impersonated organization.
In this case, the fraudsters will send you an email stating: “…………. We are sorry we found content on your feed violating our copyright policy…………………, your account will be deactivated within 24 hours. If you think we have made a mistake………………. Please click our copyright objection form and fill out the form………….” To this email or message, a phishing link will be attached. When the account holder clicks the Copyright Objection Form, it will link them to a form that will ask them for personal details and Instagram password to save their account blindly. Once the details are obtained, the page redirects them to the original account to make the whole process look legitimate and authentic. With the information given by the User, all the account related information, payment-related information is leaked, and hackers can very well control your account.
The next thing they do is change the password, and the users will lose access to their account. After this, they will redirect the payment to their account or, likewise, pool in a lot of money. The redirected webpage may seem to look very authentic and protected with an SSL certificate and may even start with the same link address HTTPS//, but there are some illusions that can save the users from falling into the bait. THE NEXT QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED IS HOW ONE CAN IDENTIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF SUCH EMAILS.
Although it might be very difficult to identify the difference between authentic mail and illegitimate mails, here are a few things one must understand:
- Make sure you read the community guidelines policy and check if you have violated it. https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/instagram-community-guidelines-faqs
- If you aren’t sure of such a violation, you can seek help from the Instagram help centre. https://help.instagram.com/
- The impersonated mail will start with the greetings like – dear friend, dear User, or sometimes no greetings, and directly the content will be there. Instagram doesn’t send greetings this way.
- The next thing you might see in the messages is that it will have a support number. Instagram doesn’t provide any support number.
- The redirected mail will not end with a domain name (.com) but with (.cf or. ml or. ak) or something related to that. This is a clear indication of fraud mail.
- Two-factor authentications of mails will be missing.
- The mail or message will have a lot of grammatical errors.
THE LAST QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED IS WHAT CAN YOU DO TO COME OUT OF SUCH SCAMS?
If you are caught in such scams, the first thing you must check is whether you still have access to your account or not. Next, you will have to check if there have been any changes in your email id or phone number. Also, make sure you have switched on the alert message for log in from any other device. This will help you know if your account has been activated from which system. If there is any change in the details, make sure your change the details and change your password, this will log you off from all the connected devices. The issues arise when you lose complete access to your account and you are locked out of your account. The first thing you can do is contact the security department of Instagram and report such an incident.
The last thing you can do is report to the cybercrime investigation cell and get the IP address, and there are chances you might get back your account. Editor’s note: Instagram users should ignore any copyright violation messages delivered from random accounts in DMs and encourage the User to visit a third-party website to resolve the matter. On Instagram’s help website, it explains how it handles copyright infringement, including the official method copyright holders, to contact the company over stolen content.