Instagram fans should be on high alert for a new scam which could leave them open to attack from cyber criminals.
The latest attempt to try and trick users of this hugely popular app arrives in the form of an advert claiming to offer ridiculously cheap Ray-Ban sunglasses.
The post includes the famous Ray-Ban logo along with the words ‘Only One Day’.
It then goes on to show a pair of glasses with the price cut from £199.90 to just £17.95 – a saving of 90 per cent.
Although this may appear to be a hugely tempting offer, you should be warned that it is a scam.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Nick FitzGerald, Senior Research Fellow at ESET, revealed: “This appears to be the continuation of, or perhaps the resumption after a lull in, the long-established abuse of compromised social media accounts to post fakes ads, or ads for fake goods.
“Over the years we have seen Twitter , Facebook , Instagram and other online platforms abused to post ads for various footwear brands (notably Adidas and UGG), medications, and Ray-Bans, among many other things.”
Those who do fall victim to this attack could end up handing over vital details including their Instagram login and email passwords.
This not only compromises their own accounts but could also help the cyber scammers spread the threat even further by posting the fake message from the user’s account.
If you spot this latest scam then ignore or delete it from your timeline and the advice from experts is clear – Do NOT to click on it.
Consumer champion Which? has published some useful advice on how to avoid the types of scams and here’s there top tips on avoiding being hacked.
1. Is the deal too good to be true?
Scammers will often pretend to be from legitimate and trustworthy sources, offering an enticing incentive to click through to a ‘too good to be true’ deal.
So, the first thing you should do is try doing a quick search for the promotion. If the company, organisation or brand is promoting a deal on social media, they are likely to also be promoting it on their homepage.
2. Inspect the URL
Closely inspect any URLs you aren’t sure about. Does the URL look suspicious? Does it match the URL of the company website?
Sometimes enticing posts on social media link to a fake login page, and when you enter your email and password, you’re actually giving those details to a scammer.
Always check that the URL matches the social media website you’re using if you’re redirected to a login page after clicking a link in a post.
Check your timeline
Are you seeing an unusually high volume of the same status being shared? This should ring alarm bells that it may be a scam, especially if the post message is the same for more than a few people.
Check the branding
Check the post for branding inconsistencies. Are they using the right logo? Is this the standard of design and care for presentation you usually see from the brand?
If it’s a new brand entirely, go to its profile page and have a proper look at how it’s presenting themselves. Do they look professional or does it look like a quick and sloppy job?
Send a message
Send a private message to your friend or family member asking them if they posted the status. They may not have realised the status was going to be automatically published and they may now realise the link they followed was part of scam.
Contact the company
You could reach out to the organisation, company or brand to find out if the deal is genuine. Don’t do this by clicking on any links in the post you believe could be a scam.
Instead, search for the company’s real homepage and contact them via a social media account, email address or telephone number you find on there.