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Instagram Identity Theft: Top Tips To Avoid Being a Victim


Plixi Team

Mar 27, 2024 10 min read

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Instagram identity theft is more common than you might have thought, and the consequences are high. However, with the advice in this article, you can reduce your chances of falling victim. We’ll share the best strategies to protect your account from getting stolen. 

Some topics we’ll cover include adding two-factor authentication and not falling prey to phishing scams. You will also find out how to report identity theft so that you can get help from the right people. Let’s start!

Instagram Identity Theft: Top Tips To Avoid Being a Victim

What Is Online Identity Theft on Instagram?

Online identity theft on Instagram is when criminals steal account access. This is done through hacking the website or tricking the account holder to give up access. Losing account access to identity theft professionals can lead to many problems. 

Some criminals may hold the account hostage unless you make a payment. They might threaten to delete your posts or post embarrassing content on your account. The aim is to force people to complete payment to avoid embarrassment. 

Identity theft online is common and happens daily. Therefore, it’s important to protect your account from potential breaches. We’ll share how to do this throughout the article using a strong password. 

How To Avoid Identity Theft on Social Media

Now, let’s consider the top strategies for how to avoid identity theft on social media. You can increase your odds of safely using platforms like Instagram in peace. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of methods. That’s because online identity theft strategies are always progressing. 

Therefore, you must also monitor the latest protection methods for your account login details. 

1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Using two-factor authentication means you need different authentication forms to access the account. 

This includes your username/email, password, and passcode. You can receive the latter by email or phone number. Some social media platforms even have an app-based authenticator for your convenience. 

Logging in with two-factor authentication might seem like extra work. However, it has proven to be highly successful in guarding against identity theft. It’s not 100% effective, but it does an excellent job of reducing the chances of getting hacked. 

It’s effective because you need access to your email account or phone to get the passcode. Usually, criminals don’t have access to these, so the Instagram password alone won’t provide access. 

Social media platforms like Instagram will ask you to set up two-factor authentication and then request its entry once. Then, they will ask for double authentication when a significant amount of time passes or a new device is detected. 

2. Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams 

Phishing scams work by getting people to hand over details such as passwords. They can do this via email, transferring you to fake websites to get your login details. Some email links may contain malware that will harvest your password from the computer. 

Therefore, you need to be aware of phishing scams and avoid them. Generally, don’t click on links in emails you don’t recognize. Also, be wary of downloading attachments. Most email service providers do a great job of eliminating phishing scams. However, it’s not 100% safe, so you’ll need to understand the dangers for yourself. 

You also need to avoid direct messages( DMs) from fake accounts. Some might even pretend to be a public figure to trick you. Hence, you need to be on your toes and question every point of content. This includes messages from members of your social circle that seem out of place. 

3. Don’t Store Your Login Details on Your Device

Hackers can access the data files on your computer and look for passwords. This is uncommon, but you don’t want to store login details for these reasons. 

Instead, you can use a password autofill service. These will store your password details in the cloud and automatically enter them.

This isn’t 100% secure either since it’s possible to hack autofill password services. However, that’s less likely to happen since they have professional-grade security. Also, they have experts monitoring the security of their customers. Make sure to verify the validity of password autofill services before using them. 

Don’t want to spend time or money on getting a password autofill service. Then, you can use the free one provided by the Chrome Browser. It does a great job of safeguarding your passwords and speeds up the login process to Instagram. 

4. Monitor the Latest Trends

Keep an eye out for the latest trends related to identity theft on Instagram. Knowing the most up-to-date strategies will help you protect against the threats. If you’re active on social media, then you can find out when new criminal activity strategies develop. 

5. Never Give Up Your Account Access

It may seem like obvious advice, but you’ll be surprised by the number of Instagram users who give up their accounts. Therefore, you must avoid sharing your account details regardless of the situation. 

Do you need to give employees access to work on your Instagram account? Then, you can give them limited access by adding them to the account. This lets you set a limited number of privileges, such as managing the advertising account.

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How To Report Identity Theft on Instagram

Are you wondering how to report identity theft on Instagram? You’ll need to contact Instagram customer support to get help. They can freeze the account and give you access back. However, you’ll need to verify your identity to show you are the real account holder. 

Here are the different methods you can use to contact Instagram customer support:

  • Phone: Contacting Instagram support with phone lines is a reliable method that allows you to get fast help. By the end of the call, you may solve the problem faster than email. However, using phone support may cost extra compared to live chat and email, which are free. 
  • Email: Using email to get customer support help is a slower but convenient method. That’s because you can write an email and send it without being present for a response. However, since identity theft is a serious problem, you may want to use a faster method. 
  • Live chat: Using live chat is quick since you can typically connect with an agent within a few minutes. Furthermore, you can post screenshots and provide links, which isn’t practical via phone. 

When reporting identity theft on social media, it’s important to have your details ready. Note down when the theft occurred and other related details. Also, have your personal identity documents handy to speed up the verification process. 

3 Types of Identity Theft Scams on Instagram

Now, we’ll look at some of the more common identity theft scams on Instagram. This will give you an idea of the scams to watch out for. Being aware of the scams is half the battle. 

Then, you’ll need to ensure you have your guard up. That’s because the scams always develop to catch people out when they least expect them. 

You need to evolve with the Instagram identity theft strategies. 

1. Fake Influencer Sponsorships

You may receive contact from a brand you’ve never heard of about a sponsorship deal on Instagram. At first glance, this may seem like great news since you can increase your Instagram earnings. However, this could be a scam, and you must block the user immediately. 

The question is how to distinguish between scams and real Instagram sponsorship deals. Here are some of the strategies you can use to judge for yourself:

  • Research the brand: Most brands have an active online presence that you can verify. This includes looking at their social media profiles and Trustpilot reviews. However, you need to take reviews with a grain of salt. That’s because it’s possible to buy a lot of fake reviews in a short time. 
  • Pay attention to the communication: You must be on your toes when communicating with the brand. This includes looking at the small details of what they offer. Legitimate brands will have a professional approach that’s hard to fake. If you deal with many brands regularly, then this shouldn’t be a problem. 
  • Compare notes with other IG content creators: Contact other content creators in your space and ask if they have worked with a specific brand. Also, you can ask others for advice on whether they think a brand is a scam. Other Instagram content creators may have more experience dealing with brands.
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2. Instagram Giveaways

You may spot Instagram giveaways that offer lucrative rewards. However, they will ask for personal information to trick users into the scam. They may even ask you to fill out a form via a link that will infect malware into your computer. 

Therefore, you must scrutinize every aspect of a giveaway you win. Check the brand that’s providing the giveaway for its reputation. This will allow you to figure out if it’s worth risking your time and account to engage with a giveaway. 

Note that a high follower count doesn’t mean the brand is legitimate. That’s because it’s possible to buy Instagram followers to increase the numbers artificially. This is misleading; fake brands can use this strategy to lure people into taking advantage of a giveaway. 

3. Email Phishing Scams

Email phishing scams regarding Instagram exist, and you need to watch out for them. These might be fake emails that ask you to log in to your Instagram account. This might be to change your email/password. 

However, the links on these emails don’t take you to the Instagram website. Instead, they may take you to a website that uploads malware, where Instagram identity theft occurs. 

Most email service providers automatically block the majority of phishing emails. However, some emails will make it through to the inbox, which is a security concern. 

What Are Online Impersonations?

Online impersonations occur when someone gains access to your Instagram account and uses it to exploit others. They are a type of criminal activity that can happen to your Instagram account. 

For example, they may message other users in the account holder’s social circle and ask them for money. The scam works because online impersonations are hard to detect at first glance. Therefore, you need to safeguard your account details to avoid losing your account to these criminals.

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Instagram Identity Theft: Is It Likely To Happen?

Most people using Instagram will not have to worry about identity theft. Large platforms like Instagram have built-in systems to help prevent this. For example, when you log in to a new device, you will receive an email notification.

Now that you understand how Instagram identity theft works, you can take steps to combat the risks. Taking the precautions outlined in this article will help you avoid being a victim. 

Finally, ensure you never share your password or provide access to your account. 

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