A new wave of scam artists are running amuck on Instagram, harming legitimate crypto influencers
Since the beginning of 2020, there have been over 1.3 million posts featuring “#Coinbase” hashtags on Instagram, many of which were created by crypto scams filled with fraudulent content.
These scams often involve individuals or bots impersonating actual industry professionals and crypto influencers on Instagram. The platform has cracked down on these fake accounts, but unfortunately, many legitimate influencers were caught in the fray, and their profiles were removed.
Rachel Siegel, also known as Crypto Finally, is one of the influencers who was affected by the Instagram crackdown.
Siegel shared her grievances regarding her banned account,
“I’m glad that they were able to reinstate my account, but I believe new preventative measures should be taken to protect their users from falling victim to scams and impersonators. Banning the original creator just makes the problem worse”
Siegel also expressed her concern about the efficiency of the banning system,
“I think that the policies for banning over impersonation should be looked at, there are dozens of fake accounts impersonating me that are kept up on Instagram.”
A widespread issue
Instagram is far from the only platform affected by crypto scams. In July, Twitter was taken by storm by a 17-years-old masquerading as prominent figures in the tech and political industries.
The young scammer fraudulently obtained 130 high-profile Twitter handles by gaining Twitter employees’ credentials through a series of spear phishing attacks. Notable names from the hack include Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Barack Obama.
The perpetrator would acquire the account and use it to promote a lucrative giveaway, asking the victim to send bitcoins to a crypto wallet address with the promise of receiving double the amount in return.
The aftermath of the scam resulted in over 400 payments being sent and $121,000 worth of bitcoins stolen.
How to protect your cryptos
Crypto scams on Instagram are not new. Recently, Yahoo Finance published an article on how to spot a crypto scam.
Here are some of the things to look for when spotting a potential scam:
- Fake brand accounts
- Money flipping or investment opportunities that sound too good to be true
- Fake giveaways
- Phishing by direct message
- Fake brand promotion
Regardless of the social media platform, remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t legit. Rich celebs are very unlikely to just hand out loads of Bitcoin to their followers.