Instagram Scammers Stealing Selfies According to MalwareBytes


What would you do if a friend created an NSFW account and then followed you on Instagram with it? The account didn't belong to the true owner; it was created in her name and left her with a mess to clear up.

Amanda's legitimate Instagram account, her identity, her photos, and her followers were the beginning. The scammers used them to set up a simple “NSFW” Instagram account that appeared to belong to her and then tried to persuade her friends to visit it by following them.

InstagramFriends who looked out the new account noticed a familiar face in an unfamiliar setting: “NOT SAFE FOR WORK” and “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY,” according to an Instagram account. There were no posts on the public account, only a story with another stolen photo and a caption inviting viewers to “VISIT MY PROFILE ON NAKED SITE,” where they were promised access to a limited number of slots for “exclusive content.”

Scammers know that their websites are unlikely to be up for long before being blocked, so they use services like Wix, which allows them to quickly and easily create professional-looking websites for free, to create “burner” websites that are only up for today and gone tomorrow.

Another photo from Amanda's Instagram account was used as the site's profile picture, which was surrounded by NSFW and filthy stock art. This identifies which affiliate referred visitors to this site to the site's owner (and who they should pay for providing it). The affiliate used Amanda's identity to bring you here, but the site's owners may not be aware of this or care.

The only thing the con artists ever wanted was your credit card number.

Fortunately for us, a forged credit card let us past the door and allowed us to explore a little more without rewarding the con artists. Obviously, your ID and credit card information is important, but there's another factor to consider: your willingness to hand away those items.

Giving your credit card to the long-awaited NSFW content featuring your pal, or even Nightly Encounter or Locating Someone Special Nearby, whatever they are, wouldn't get you anywhere.

Instead, you'd be on a separate site, entering yet another username, password, and email into a different “Secure Billing Platform” so that another affiliate could be compensated for dishing you up on a plate. Another request for your credit card information, this time for a subscription that you didn't want. Our bogus credit card numbers had lost their magical powers of persuasion at this point (much to our relief) and we couldn't proceed any farther.

If you've been a victim of this type of identity theft, report the fake accounts and websites to the platforms that run them. The Instagram account used in the scam has been deactivated, and Wix, to its credit, took down the scam site within seconds of being notified.



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About the Author: Janice

Janice is a full-time mom who likes to write on a range of topics in her spare time. She specializes in the Home, Garden, and Recycling topics. Janice is our Lifestyle and positive vibe expert. She keeps the office running.