I recently came into contact with someone that sent me the “this took me hours” to make DM, and it was from someone I knew in real life.
So I wasn’t sure if it was a scam or not, so I clicked on the link and was then asked to log in to my IG account.
That’s when I knew that I was about to be scammed, and so I reported the account so it could be dealt with.
You need to remember that I am someone that exposes scams, and my alarm bells didn’t even go off seeing this message.
People are falling for this scam left, right and center, and thousands of people are getting their information stolen.
What are they doing with that information?
Using your account to send out the same message to close friends and family, and stealing your personal information to your bank accounts, online payment services, etc.
Before I explain how you can protect yourself, let me explain exactly how this scam works and how to spot it.
What is the “This took me 3 hours to make” Instagram Scam?
This is a message you will get in your DMs from someone that you follow or follows you.
It’ll say something along the lines of “This took me 3 hours to make, I really hope you like it”, with a random link to a phishing website
What is a “phishing website”?
A phishing website looks exactly like the real website but has different programming.
So when you type in your username and password, it will be sent to the scammer and now they can use your account for other scamming purposes.
This is a very effective scam because:
1. The DM is usually from someone you know or follow
2. It peaks curiosity, and we all know that humans are very curious creatures
3. We think they took the time to create something for us, so the least we can do is check it out
Once you click on the link, you will be faced with a login page that asks for your username and password.
Then if you proceed with your details, your account information is now stolen.
What Do They Do With This Information Once They Have It?
When your account information has been stolen, all your other information has also been breached.
They now have your email address which ties to your livelihood.
And if you’re like most people, you use the same password across the board.
If they gain access to your email address, they can login to your PayPal and other online payment services and send money from your account to theirs.
Credit card information can also be stolen, identity, and many other things.
So now you’re not just looking at losing your IG page from a hacker, you could lose your entire savings account.
It’s incredibly scary stuff.
But here’s how to protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself From Getting Scammed Through DMs
First and foremost, don’t click any shady links.
Sometimes you don’t even need to input your login information through a phishing website, as a virus has been planted into your PC or mobile device and started stealing information.
Secondly, use a different password for your email address, something that you’ve never used anywhere, and update it every couple of months.
Thirdly, user 2-factor authentication for both Instagram and email accounts. It’s one of your strongest defenses against scammers. Even if they get your username and password, they can’t get in anywhere without your mobile phone!
Scammers Are Getting Smarter
Scammers have always been a thing, it’s just that the internet makes it easier to scam.
You don’t have to walk the street anymore to take peoples money.
They can do it from the comfort of their own home through phishing sites, social media platforms, make-money opportunities, cryptocurrency scams, and many more.
Heck, they’re even scamming people in plain sight through mobile apps and nobody bats an eye.
But now you know how to protect yourself and can avoid getting scammed in the future.
If you think you’ve been a victim of an information breach, change your passwords asap and apply 2-factor authentication to everything.
Well thanks for reading and have a great day!