Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media network in the world. With over 1 billion users all over the world and over 8 million users in Nigeria, it is one of the most widely used apps alongside Zoom, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok in the country. Apart from just being a social network where people can interact and connect, a distinct feature of the media platform is the ability to share videos and pictures to your followers who can like, share and comment on them. This feature has enabled it to attract millions of followers all around the world.
Instagram, just like other social media platform has evolved over the years. Entrepreneurs use this platform to promote their businesses to inform the world what they do. And with the ability to advertise on the platform, entrepreneurs make use of this opportunity to reach more customers both within and outside their countries thus in the process make more money.
Despite the advantages the social media platform is bringing such as in connecting with loved ones, sharing life changing information, job opportunities and advertising goods and services criminals have decided to use this platform to scam people from their hard-earned money.
Check our post on how to avoid getting scammed on Instagram. If however you do get scammed we hope this articles helps you with what to do.
Instagram scamming comes in different shades and forms. Scammers disguise as business vendors informing the public they sell goods and provide certain services. While some, under the form of business entities seek investors to invest in their business schemes. Interestingly, a lot of Nigerians fall prey to these phony acts. Another means by which people get scammed is by the annoying activities of online beggars popularly known as ‘bambiala’. These people will solicit for funds from different people to cure an ailment, pay hospital bills or tuition.
These pleas are fake and many of them are only on Instagram to scam people. Several times, young Nigerians especially ladies post on their wall how they were scammed by fake vendors who sells wigs, shoes, bags, clothes and other beauty enhancing wares. Once they get access to your money, they either block you or stop responding to your messages. Celebrities are not left out of these. Some of them have fallen prey to the ‘pleas’ of these ‘bambiala’ and fake accounts bearing the names of celebrities have been created in order to dupe unsuspecting fans.
Another form of scamming which is quite popular these days is Instagram phishing. Through phishing, scammers get access to your Instagram account and use your identity for criminal activities. And if care is not taken, they might have access to sensitive information such as your banking details and in that process cart away all your money. Your account get phished when you get messages that makes you take actions such as clicking links you see via text messages or WhatsApp groups. These links serves as Trojan horses and when clicked enables scammers to have access to your Instagram account.
When you fall prey to these Instagram scams what do you do?
If you fall victim of fake online stores on Instagram or bambialas, the first thing you must do is to report the account to Instagram. Instagram has a strict policy against fraud and online scamming. The account will be blocked and be brought down and will not be able to carry out such criminal activities.
The next step is to write an email to the financial institution. They include your bank, the scammer’s bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria. You send an email detailing the transaction you carried out with the fraudster and you attach the screenshots of the debit alerts. From there, the financial institutions will work towards not only getting your money back but arresting the fraud.
When phished on Instagram, the first thing you must do is to change your password. When you change your password, the impersonator will not be able to have access to your account and in the process you have logged the person out.
When changing your passwords, adopt using unique ones that will have all manner of characters which will secure your account and will be hard to crack or remember by fraudsters.
If you realize that by having access to your Instagram account, your bank accounts might have been compromised, it is important you check on your account and block any transaction that might occur. Go to the bank as soon as possible and make any necessary changes so that your account will not be tampered with in the future.