5 Ways to Avoid Instagram Scams and What to Look Out For

Instagram is one of the biggest social networks, so it attracts its fair share of scammers, fraudsters, and fakes. With so much cool stuff happening on the app, it can be hard to tell scams from reality – that’s where we come in.

Avoiding scams on Instagram takes a few savvy steps, and we’ve gathered them here to help you. Once you know how to stay away from scams, we’ll go through some common ones so you know the standard tropes to be on the lookout for. 


How to avoid IG scams

Staying safe and away from people who only want your money on Instagram is a challenge. Follow our five easy tips and you should be able to have a great time on IG, without a scam in sight. 


Protect your browsing

Unfortunately, it’s super common for people to try and hack your Instagram. It can be the first step to them starting a wider scam, using your account to run their dodgy tactics. 

When you connect to the app through public WiFi, anyone you share that connection with can also see what you’re doing and possibly get your login credentials. A simple way to protect your browsing is to use a VPN; you can click here to learn more about VPNs and download one. 


Check your DMs

Messaging on Insta is a great way to connect on a more personal level, but scammers use your DMs to hook you in. You may find that you get scammy offers in your inbox with offers that are too good to be true.

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Even if you’re interested in the offer you get, it’s better you research the exactly perfect company for you rather than accept an unsolicited offer. 


Be wary of comments

It can be a great feeling when you get engagement on your photos and Reels. However, the ones that ask to DM them for gifts, promotions, or any other reason are usually the start of a scam. 

They start with a comment asking you to get in touch because they are less likely to get noticed by the platform as scammers if you’re the one DMing them. They think they’re smart; you need to be smarter!


Don’t pay for anything you didn’t as for

Scammers want your money, so be very careful to who you give it to. If someone on Instagram wants you to send them money in return for them sending you more money – it’s a scam. 

You may feel flattered when a company asks you to promote their jewelry or sports clothes, but if you have to pay to get it posted to you, it’s more than likely not legit. 


Check for the blue tick

If you think you’ve been approached by a big brand to work with them, check if it’s the right account. Most major companies will go through the process to get the Instagram blue tick. 

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Scammers will try to imitate brand accounts by adding a period or underscore so at first glance, you could be fooled. If there isn’t a tick, proceed with great caution. 

What are the most common Instagram scams?

There are plenty of people who want to get your money through a dodgy offer or even steal your account to start scamming others. There will be 2.5 billion users on the site in 2023, so here’s how they – and you – can spot common IG scams. 

“Your account has been flagged”

When a scammer wants to take over your account, they may send you a fake email pretending to be from Instagram or its parent company Meta. You’ll be told you’ve broken the rules and you have to click on a link to start an appeals process.

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Check the email address it has come from and check if your account is still active. If you have a problem, you should have notifications in the app as well. 


“Would you like a shoutout?”

If you use hashtags or are trying to grow your IG account organically, it’s likely that people are going to offer unsolicited help in your DMs and comments. If you’re being asked to pay for a promotion, odds are that you will actually be buying fake followers, and Instagram bans accounts for that. 


“I have the secret to earning big money”

Multi-level marketing (MLM) and network marketing is generally seen as negative and are outright illegal in some countries. The scam is that people recruit you, and you pay to start selling things like chocolates, makeup, or crypto trading, but you don’t make money from sales – only by recruiting more people to recruit more people. 


“Just pay postage and packaging”

Giveaways are a solid marketing tool and there are plenty of prizes and competitions on Instagram that are real and prizes get sent. However, some people will fake a competition and ask you to pay way more than it should cost to post your prize. The cost is inflated, and you’re probably never going to get your gift.


“I make $500 every day”

Investment scams are sadly common on Instagram. People will offer to help you get rich quickly if you hand over money for foreign exchange or crypto trading. You’re promised easy money with little or no effort, but most people walk away, losing thousands of dollars. Work with a financial advisor if you want to start investing. 


Avoiding Instagram scams

Posting your cool photos and fun Reels on Instagram is a great way to share your life with friends, family, and the world. Protect yourself from people trying to do you harm by following our simple techniques to avoid Instagram scams. 

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