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Scammers abuse Instagram complaints feature – Kaspersky comment and tips

August 2021 by Anna Larkina, security expert at Kaspersky

Following the recent news of scammers targeting Instagram users by getting them banned through fake complaints, the comment from Anna Larkina, Security Expert at Kaspersky who explains the scam and provides some guidance on how to prevent falling prey.

Scams that prey on Instagram users appear on a regular basis and this one is no exception. From what we have seen in the web, this scam with banning users on Instagram due to fake complaints is not limited to one criminal – we discovered more examples offering such schemes in the web and blocked these pages.

It is clear why such scam would be popular as a service. Instagram has become a very important platform for individuals and organizations alike, with many relying on social media for their income – for instance, artists and content creators. What we are seeing now is, essentially, a new form of digital abuse.

Thankfully, Instagram is already aware of the scheme and therefore, we anticipate that this “business” will lose its relevance very quickly.

The main takeaway for this story is that in every conflict situation or issue contact the technical support of the social network and never negotiate with cybercriminals. Indeed, our social media accounts mean a lot to us and therefore affect us emotionally too. I recommend the victims to do the following:

Try to calm down and evaluate the situation with cold heart.
Gather evidence – screenshot everything that can confirm the attack – offers to unlock the account, threats, any messages and notifications.
Contact the administration of the social network as soon as possible, describing in as much detail as possible what happened and attaching all the proofs.

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