Scam on Instagram, beware of fake prizes

Postal Police warn of a phishing campaign running on Instagram. They promise rich prizes, but steal data and money

If, up until now, your worries were largely directed at WhatsApp and Facebook, you'll now have to watch out for Instagram as well. As noted by the Postal Police and communicated through the official Facebook account, Italian users of the photographic social network are under attack by the usual cybercriminals.

According to the post of the State Police, in fact, many subscribers to the photo sharing platform are receiving private messages from accounts apparently linked to well-known high fashion brands. Nike and Ralph Lauren are two of the brands that, despite themselves, have been exploited by cyber criminals in their attempt at fraud. Although there are no official data, the affected users would be several thousands: for this reason, the cyber security experts of the Postal Police invite to caution, remembering that nobody gives anything, least of all online.

How the fake Nike and Ralph Lauren scam works on Instagram

The mechanism behind the Instagram scam is as simple as effective. Using specially created fake accounts, cybercriminals concocted phishing and social engineering campaigns to steal personal data and information. Promising a generous reward in vouchers - even 100 euros - the fake Instagram accounts ask for the name and surname of the "lucky" user and even his credit card number. In the message it says it is necessary for the crediting of the prize, but of course it will be used by cyber criminals to steal money from you.

How to recognize the scam and how to defend yourself

Unfortunately, defending yourself against the Instagram scam is easier than you think. As the State Police also says in its post, no one gives anything away: be wary, therefore, of promises of rich cash prizes or shopping vouchers. A further alarm bell should go off the moment you read the name of the account: not being verified profiles, they can hardly "speak" in the name of the brand or promise official recognition by high fashion brands. Moreover, in case you are asked to visit short links, you can use one of the many services that allow you to "explode" the shortened url and verify in advance if it is a reliable site or not.