Instagram users are being warned of a dangerous scam email which at first glance appears to be alerting them of a nasty security threat. The message, highlighted by fraud and cybersecurity centre Action Fraud, has been sent to hundreds of Instagram users in the past week. The email claims that hackers from Russia are trying to reset an Instagram user’s account, and directs them to another website where they will have to enter their login details to allegedly secure their account.
However, this is all just a sneaky double bluff – the hackers that are trying to steal Instagram logins are those that sent this email.
And the websites users are being directed to that will allegedly help secure their account are in fact designed to steal usernames and passwords.
Speaking about the threat, Action Fraud said: “Watch out for these fake emails targeting your Instagram account.
“Action Fraud has received 272 reports in one week relating to fake emails purporting to be from Instagram.
“The emails state that someone from Russia is attempting to reset the recipient’s Instagram account password.
“The links in the emails lead to malicious websites that are designed to steal Instagram login details.”
If you spot this email or any other suspicious messages you can report it to the Government’s Suspicious Email Reporting Services (SERS).
Simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help trying to figure out which emails from Instagram are real or not there are a few things to bear in mind.
Firstly, the Instagram app has a handy section where you can see all of your emails from the social network.
Simply head to the Settings section of the Instagram app and then go to Security and click on Emails from Instagram.
You will see security and login emails sent to you from Instagram within the last 14 days which will help you root out scam messages.
To help you stay clear of Instagram scams, you can also follow a few simple steps that will help you avoid scams that target any service.
One thing that will immediately let you know if an email is genuine or not is double checking who the sender is.
If it is an official email then the message will be sent from an official domain for the organisation in question.
If the sender’s email does not look genuine, or if there’s no attempts to hide where it was from (i.e the message is clearly sent from a Gmail or Hotmail account) then the alarm bells should immediately be ringing.
Also, if a message has any weird grammar or spelling errors this is also cause for concern, as legitimate correspondences from major organisations such as Instagram shouldn’t have these types of errors in it.
If you check these things and you’re still not sure then you can always contact the organisation in question directly to double check the message you received is from them.
While this will require a little extra work it will save you plenty of stress, hassle and time spent trying to resolve issues that would come from you falling for a scam and sending over sensitive details to hackers.
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