A gang of scammers used Instagram and WhatsApp to sell clothes and shoes, never delivered: 2400 victims, 1600 of them teenagers. 12 charges and 5 arrests.
Online shopping increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, and users must always be very careful about their purchases and the reliability of the websites they buy from. More than 1,600 teens in recent months have fallen victim to a scam on Instagram to purchase non-existent shoes and clothing.
More and more people are buying not only on e-commerce sites like Amazon, but are also relying on social media for shopping of various kinds. With stores closed for lockdown, Facebook's marketplace and Instagram's Shopping section, the marketplace on social is expanding rapidly. There are those who use this trend to pull off scams, such as the gang from the Milanese hinterland broken up by the police who hit 2400 users selling fake goods on Instagram, and of these 1600 were teenagers. It is therefore important to know how to recognize a reliable site or seller on Instagram: here are some tips.
Scam on Instagram: the news facts
The postal police of Bologna and Milan by order of the Prosecutor's Office of Bologna foiled a scam on Instagram, as reported by Repubblica. The gang sold on the popular social network shoes and clothes of famous brands at affordable prices between 50 and 100 euros. The payments were made on 15 prepaid cards available to the gang, whose members then proceeded to "download" the cards with ATM withdrawals.
But not only the products did not exist, the unlucky customers were also contacted after the purchase and then were convinced to pay the amount again, citing as a reason unlikely customs fees or other.
The Prosecutor's Office of Bologna has therefore discovered the scam that has earned the gang based in the hinterland of Milan 250 thousand euros from 2400 defrauded users, including 1600 adolescents lured via Instagram and then contacted via WhatsApp, has reported 12 people, arresting 5 for criminal association aimed at fraud.
Instagram, how to defend themselves from scams
There are some tricks that Instagram users, and in general who use social for their purchases, can implement to defend themselves from online scams. The first is to pay attention to the profile that you are following and from which you intend to buy a product, since this type of scam that passes also from advertisements on social is becoming more and more frequent.
Buying one of the products, even of well-known brands, at a bargain price, users could be faced with two possibilities. To receive at home a product that is definitely counterfeit, of poor quality and does not conform to the images in the advertisements.
Or, as happened to the users of the Instagram scam mentioned above, to find themselves paying double the amount of money for products that will never arrive. And once you've fallen into the trap, it will be impossible to get a refund.
The advice then before making a purchase on Instagram, or any other social, is to carefully evaluate the profile, possibly look for reviews and if you find a price too low compared to the market value be aware that more than being in front of a real deal, it is likely to be an attempt to cheat.