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Know When to Scroll: Avoiding Instagram & Social Media Scams

Woman scrolling on phone

With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram has become a popular app for sharing photos, connecting with friends and even following the lives of celebrities and influencers. But where there are lots of users, there are also – you guessed it – scammers looking for opportunity.

So while you’re scrolling, liking and sharing, keep these 3 common Instagram scams in mind:

1. Fake Product and Shopping Scams

See an ad for a popular, name-brand item at a low price? Before you click that ad, know that many scammers use social media to promote fake products to steal your personal information – even appearing to have lots of followers to make them seem legit.

Pro tip: Go directly to the brand’s website instead of clicking the link. Many times websites will even have their social accounts linked in their website footer.

2. Influencer Scams

While there are lots of real influencers on social media, some of them are made to scam you into fake investment opportunities or “get rich quick” deals. If their profile looks “off” (for example, having a huge following with a low engagement rate) or the products they’re promoting don’t seem real, it’s likely a scam. And remember, scammers love to use pressure tactics and encourage you to act quickly. Take a step back and ask yourself if the deal or promotion seems too good to be true.

3. Phishing Scams

On social media, this common fraud tactic usually comes in the form of an email or direct message (DM) alerting you that your account is in danger and hoping you'll click a link or call to provide personal info. Remember, Instagram will never DM you about your account. You can also see official Instagram emails sent in the last 14 days in your settings.

And while these types of scams are common on Instagram, they could happen on any social media platform. Always take caution before you engage and share.

If you think you’ve been a victim of an Instagram or other social media scam, reach out to your financial institution right away. Summit members, contact us at 800‑236‑5560.

We appreciate you sharing details with us when you hear of, or experience, a possible scam! This helps us inform and protect our members and community.

Want more fraud-fighting tips?

Keep exploring more ways to spot and stop a scam.



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