- Since October 2021, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has seen a sharp rise in victims of Instagram account takeovers. Recently, criminals have been luring in victims with bitcoin scams.
- According to reports to the ITRC, scammers create posts on Instagram about bitcoin investments to attract other users. Once someone clicks on the link, their money is gone, and their Instagram credentials are compromised. Then, the victim is locked out of their Instagram account, and the account is used to post more links to fake bitcoin investments.
- To avoid the bitcoin scam and a hacked Instagram account, never share your Instagram account credentials with anyone else. Protect your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication. If an Instagram post seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If your Instagram account is hacked, check your email for a message from Instagram and request a login link, as well as a security code or support, from the social media company.
- To learn more, or if you had your Instagram account hacked due to a bitcoin scam, contact the ITRC by calling 888.400.5530 or using the live-chat function at nftgamef.com.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has received hundreds of inquiries each month regarding hacked Instagram accounts – four times the number of inquiries than in a typical month. The ITRC believes criminals are impersonating people listed in their victim’s contact list and stealing their personally identifiable information (PII). In some of the latest reports, Instagram accounts are being hacked due to bitcoin scams.
Who are the Targets?
See more: Bitcoin scams on instagram
What is the Scam?
According to reports to the ITRC, a victim’s “friend” (whose account has been taken over) posts on Instagram about how much money they make while investing in Bitcoin. Once the victim shows interest, they are asked to make a video saying how much money they made. Then they are asked to give over their Instagram credentials and send money so they can also be part of the investment. However, they get locked out of their account, and their contact information is changed. The scammer then uses the compromised account to start posting about the bitcoin scam.
What They Want
The identity criminals are after your money, as well as your Instagram credentials. According to Digital Shadows, the cost of a hacked Instagram account on the dark web is $45. For context, the price for a Social Security number (SSN) on the dark web is only $2.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
- Never share your Instagram credentials with anyone else. As part of the bitcoin scam, scammers are trying to build trust with victims, talking about how much money you could make. While scammers can be persuasive, passwords, PINS, codes or any other type of sensitive information should never be shared with anyone.
- Use a strong and unique password. The ITRC encourages you to use a 12+ character unique passphrase because it makes it more difficult for hackers to crack your account. Also, passphrases are easier for you to remember.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your account. MFA gives youan added layer of security, making it harder for criminals to hack your Instagram account. To use MFA on Instagram, go to “Settings,” “Security,” and tap “Two-Factor Authentication.” Tap “Get Started” and select either “Authentication App” or “Text Message.” The ITRC suggests you use an authentication app because text messages can be spoofed.
- Make sure the email associated with the account is secure. A secure email account is an account that has security enhancements to offer more protection. If it is not secure, it could make it a lot easier for hackers to access your account and any other accounts associated with that email. It is also a good idea to secure your email with MFA.
- Ignore any offers on Instagram that seem too good to be true. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
If your Instagram account is hacked from a bitcoin scam, 1) check your email account for a message from Instagram, 2) request a login link from Instagram and 3) request a security code or support from Instagram. For more information, read our blog on how to protect yourself from a hacked Instagram account.
To learn more about bitcoin scams, hacked Instagram accounts and what you can do to protect the information that a scammer may have access to, contact the ITRC. You can speak with an expert advisor toll-free by phone (888.400.5530) or live-chat on the company website. Just visit nftgamef.com to get started.