Fraudsters hijack Instagram accounts to scam others

Fraudsters hijack Instagram accounts to scam others

1/21/2022 9:04:00 PM

Fraudsters hijack Instagram accounts to scam others

Instagram fraud victims not only lose money, their accounts are used to lure in friends and family.

Ms Reeves, 36, was persuaded to record a video of herself which was sent to her contacts and hand over the money, before being locked out of her account.'Taxes'Ms Reeves was then instructed to contact a profile called Shanny_Powell1_ on Instagram.

In total, Ms Reeves transferred a total of £1,200 to an account in Jamaica using a money transfer website.Bill Hinton/Getty ImagesShe was told that she would receive the money once she had recorded the video."Things were happening to my Instagram account which I was getting logged out of and I was locked out of my phone."

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

What do they say about 'if it looks too good to be true...'? 🙄🙄

Fraudsters use fake Harry and Meghan endorsements to promote scam adsBogus interviews and photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been used in articles falsely claiming the couple have backed schemes related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. You sure they’re fake endorsements? Sounds right up their street. Who cares about Prince Andrew's sexual allegations anyway 🤷🏿‍♂️

Harry and Meghan misused in fake investment endorsementFinancial watchdog warns of rising worries about investment scams using fake celebrity support.

Alec Baldwin ‘sued for $25,000,000 by family of killed US Marine'Baldwin allegedly,labelled the soldier’s sister as a participant of the Capitol riot incorrectly. TheEmilyDBaker The hits keep coming for Alec Baldwin I hope the family suing him, wins for his disgusting behaviour of inciting hate towards an innocent woman Lol Americans will sue you for anything haha

Prince Andrew deletes his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profilesThose visiting the Duke of York's official Twitter page thedukeofyork today were greeted with a message saying 'this account doesn't exist - try searching for another' just hours after it was still live. Didn't even know he had social media presence or care really.Surely he doesn't do anything of relevance so it's no big loss. Not your typical 'fall guy'- but the Queen said👎🏼 He's getting ready to vanish from the world too and probably lives on an island to be a king there..

Campaigners fight back against schools STILL enforcing face masksBut others have called the ditching of masks 'premature'

Devil-obsessed 'Ripper' driver, 26, who murdered woman faces lifeSexual predator Brian Sengendo fatally beat and stabbed Therasia Gordon, 44, then dumped her body in woods in Enfield, north London, last August.

Image caption, Nicole Reeves thought she was getting advice on making money from a trusted friend A woman who lost £1,200 when her Instagram account was hijacked said she feels "violated". Fraudsters managed to lure Nicole Reeves into the online scam in December by posing as one of her friends and promising her £5,000. Ms Reeves, 36, was persuaded to record a video of herself which was sent to her contacts and hand over the money, before being locked out of her account. Instagram has removed her profile and 50 others connected to the deception. Ms Reeves, who lives in Bristol, told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours: "It's awful. I've never felt so violated in my entire life. "I just feel completely disgusted with myself for even letting it happen." 'Taxes' She had come across a video posted by her friend and former colleague Shaks, 27, who also lives in Bristol. In the video he explained how he had invested £500 and received £5,000 back. She messaged who she thought was her Shaks via Instagram, and he confirmed that it was true. Ms Reeves was then instructed to contact a profile called Shanny_Powell1_ on Instagram. She was told that she could benefit from fluctuations in currency and that if she invested £500 she would get £5,000 within an hour. Having transferred the funds, she was told she had been chosen for a special bonus and would be receiving £20,000, but only if she could find some more money to pay for 'taxes'. 'Got to be real' In total, Ms Reeves transferred a total of £1,200 to an account in Jamaica using a money transfer website. She said: "I kept thinking to myself, this is real, I've verified it, I've watched my friend in this video and I've spoken to him through Instagram on a message, so it's got to be real." Ms Reeves then received a phone call from someone who claimed to be a manager. Image source, Bill Hinton/Getty Images Image caption, The fraudsters took control of her Instagram account and used it to post messages promoting the fake investment to others He asked her to record a video of herself, to tell everyone how great the investment was and showing appreciation to 'Shanny Powell'. She was told that she would receive the money once she had recorded the video. Finally, she was persuaded to hand over her Apple ID, password, and then the one time passcode that appeared on her phone. She was told this was to prove her identity. Locked out "Things started to happen in front of my face. Everything started going absolutely crazy," she said. "Things were happening to my Instagram account which I was getting logged out of and I was locked out of my phone." Ms Reeves never received any of the money promised. The fraudsters took control of her Instagram account and used it to post messages promoting the fake investment to others. They sent the video that she had recorded as a private message to many of her contacts. Ms Reeves said that she and many of her family and friends reported the account to Instagram. They received automatic messages which said: "Due to the high volume of reports that we receive, our review team hasn't been able to review your report. "However, our technology has found that this account probably doesn't go against our community guidelines". Image source, Getty Images BBC You and Yours has contacted Instagram's parent company Meta about Ms Reeves hijacked account and it has been removed from Instagram. The account Shanny_Powell1_ has also been removed, as have 50 others linked to this case. There are many accounts on Instagram using the name Shanny Powell and some of them will be genuine. However, You and Yours found multiple accounts using variations of this name and promoting ways in which to make money fast. It is likely that more than one person is behind the fraud, and that Shanny Powell is a false identity. Ms Reeves discovered that her friend Shaks had also fallen victim to the scam, and it was not him that she had spoken to on Instagram. "I felt so guilty, I felt so bad. I just helped ruin someone's life," he said. "If I'd had some common sense and realised that this woman's not right, I could have just put a stop to it and saved some other people from getting scammed." Shaks' hijacked account has also now been removed from Instagram. A spokesperson for Meta said:"Fraudulent activity is banned on Instagram and we take strong action wherever possible to remove it, tackle scammers and protect people on the app. "We have taken action on multiple accounts and are continuing our investigations into this issue." The company confirmed it has over 15,000 dedicated content reviewers, and uses a combination of proactive detection technology and reports from the community to find and remove content that violates its policies. Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Shelford, said that "it's a horrific story that just outlines how sophisticated some of these scams are. "It's so important for [Meta] to take responsibility for everything that happens on their platform, and that's why I'm a great supporter of the new Online Harms Bills going through parliament." You can listen to the full interview on BBC Radio 4's You & Yours on Friday at 12:18 or via the BBC Sounds App. More on this story