The Internet is a great place. We can make friends, we can make connections and we can even do business. We can explore, do wonderful things and grow ourselves into a better person.
The use of Social Media has skyrocketed over the years. People have not only build their profiles but also have built their businesses over the years.
But the internet has always had its bad side. Where there are good people, there are always bad people as well.
The bad people have always been trying to take advantage of the good people. Sadly they do succeed in activities such has scamming innocents.
India, a country where there are more than 3 crore court cases pending, where the people often question the investigations and proceedings of the police, here people don’t really believe in the police and hence most matters go unreported.
Scamming an individual is as easy as taking the money and then blocking the individual on social media. No trace. It’s real easy to hide yourself, and you are nowhere to be found.
I see so many individual innocents getting scammed everyday over social media every single day. I really feels sad to see people getting ripped off their own hard-earned money.
I’ll be starting with Instagram.
Instagram is a platform used for sharing pictures & videos. People can upload & share images as well as videos on the platform. You can chat with people, build business pages, promote your product, show off your new smartphone and explore a lot on Instagram.
Often there have been reports of people getting scammed on Instagram via people and various pages disguised as business. Learn various ways in which people scam and avoid these. Satark rahe surakshit rahe!
1) Influencer Pages
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to promote your product. People tend to use the product their favourite celebrities use.
The influencers promote any products or websites given the right amount of money. Since they have a good number of followers, they have a good audience to promote the product to.
What they do is promote a fake page or a website, which will be selling products for cheap rate. You make a purchase and boom you’ll be cheated of your money.
Here’s an influencer who shared such page. It should give you an idea how their pages usually look like : (Sorry I’ll have to hide the page name) :
This page has 1.2 million followers. This page promoted an electronics selling page which apparently sold really cheap smartphones.
The page he promoted was selling OnePlus 6 and many other smartphones for cheap prices. They even had created a website nexafashions.com (domain expired now). Below are the screenshots of the chat where the guy is selling a OnePlus 6 for Rs. 25,000 (A year back when it was selling for Rs. 35,000) claiming he has some setting in customs.
Hence it is a request to everyone to NEVER purchase from Instagram unless you know the seller in real life.
2) Game Coins/BP Selling Pages
There are many Instagram pages selling in-game currencies for popular mobile games such as PUBG mobile, 8-Ball Pool etc. The sad part is they don’t really sell them, they just take the money and block people.
Look at the post from a guy in a group who got scammed by one such page :-
I tried opening the page but due to many reports, Instagram shut the page down.
Do not buy from Instagram just for the sake a little discount. Always buy from in-game and App Store/Play Store.
3) Meme Pages
Meme Pages have been a great source of laughter and fun. There are many meme pages on Instagram which have a great fan following due to their witty content. Since they have a huge fan following, they often tend to use it to make a quick buck and engage in promotions.
They promote other pages and other artists in exchange of money or shoutouts. What’s alarming and you should be taking care of is when they share products to sell or pages which sell products.
Instagram has become a scamzone because people tend to put trust in some random pages just because they have uploaded great product pictures. Please be careful and do not fall into this scam.
4) Shoes Pages
One of the most common scam cases have come from Instagram Pages which sell shoes. These pages take money but do not ship your order. Either they keep ignoring your messages or they simply block you. It is a request to not buy anything from Instagram.
Checkout the story of this guy (page now deleted else I would’ve posted it’s screenshots as well) :
It is a request not to trust and buy from any Instagram pages and if you still want to, you can use Cash on Delivery option for the same.
5) Money Double Scam
The scheme mentioned above claimed to double the money in 25 days. It turned out to be a scam.
Similarly, there are number of Instagram pages claiming to double your money instantly. These all pages are fake. Take a look at below screenshots to get to beware of such pages :
Just imagine people falling into this scam. People actually believe they’ll double their money. The scammers are also smart. When people send in a small amount, they send double the amount back to build trust. Once the trust has been built, the user sends a large amount. The page blocks the person after receiving large amount.
It is a request to never ever go for any such deal claiming to double your money.
6) Cheap Electronics Scam
There are some Instagram pages which sell electronics such as smartphones at dirt cheap rates. They are obviously scam, but some people get tricked into buying and then get scammed.
Checkout the below screenshots :
Their trick is to write catchy captions for their pages and post product images from Internet. They make a person believe in the concept of carding, an illegal process of ordering stuff from someone else’s credit card. While carding is actually real, none of the Instagram people claiming to do so can do. Once a person gets excited seeing the page and the crazily low prices, they send their money and you’re blocked! There are millions of pages similar to the above ones, and they are only increasing.
7) T-Shirt Selling Pages
There are many business pages on Instagram selling custom designed t-shirts. While some of them are legit, most of them are fake pages looking out to take your hard-earned money.
Checkout this page which scammed a friend of mine and their customer care doesn’t respond to any calls, messages, e-mails or DMs :
His Story :
This page looks so original. They even have a complete website built but with a dead customer support, you are not getting your product delivered.
Here’s a page of a friend of mine who sells T-Shirts (Totally legit page because it’s a person I have been with in real life) :
What I am trying to explain here, it’s nearly impossible to figure out legit and non-legit business instagram business handles by yourself.
8) Counterfeit/Fake Items Scam
If a person does ship you the product after you have paid, there is a high chance that the product you ordered is a copy of the original. It could be a duplicate, and duplicates are usually of poor quality as compared to originals. Once you have paid and the order gets delivered, there’s no customer care support to help you return or get your product replaced. Hence easily scammed.
9) The Page Selling Cycle
This is really interesting. A person saw this page on sale :
Here’s detailed information of what happened :
- The person messaged them, showing interest in buying the page. The price was ₹2000.
- The buyer asked for proofs, to which the seller provided his original ID link along with Aadhar Card proofs.
- Convinced, the buyer sent ₹1000 advance. The seller sent him the details and the buyer proceeded to pay the pending amount.
- The first thing the buyer did was to change the password.
- After changing the password, the buyer tried changing the attached phone number.
- He failed, because apparently the account was guarded with 2-step verification with the seller’s phone number.
- The seller quickly changed the password using his phone number and blocked the buyer.
- The buyer got scammed of ₹2000 and got nothing.
This cycle was working until mass reporting shut this page down. But there are many pages out there, hence do not ever buy pages or similar things on Instagram.
A Unique Approach to Things…
Explaining in short:
Guy approaches girls on Instagram, gains their sympathy by cooking up a fake story about his dad’s loans. Gets the girls to pay for his dinner on dates. Blocks them after he is done.
How to be on the safe side then?
Here are some tips to help you out in being safe while dealing on Instagram (If you still want to) :
- Do not order anything by paying advance.
- Always do a Cash on Delivery order when dealing with unverified businesses on Instagram.
- If a deal is too good to be true, then it is. Do not get lured by super attractive and cheap prices.
- Do not trust their proofs and stories. If they have Instagram IDs tagged in proofs, ask them regarding the authenticity.
- Do not give them any of your details such as Credit/Debit Card No., Bank Account No., CVV, Address etc.
It is a request to be careful of the recent scams happening over Instagram and not trade over this Social Media Platform.