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Instagram Lottery winning fraud made thousands of victims

In the recent time social networking sites simply becomes a victim of hacking event but today Instagram – A social networking site experienced different face of internet called Social Engineering. You might have heard about spam emails that lure reader to click on emails, offering lottery, and jobs, discount offers, but from the last few days, Symantec has observed a shocking activity on Instagram carried on by hackers.

Instagram scammers are posting images related to fake lottery winnings. Even spammers have also convinced users for post sharing, surrendering their personal information, and sending money to the scammers.

The users who fall victim were mostly belonged to USA and UK. Spammers also offered $1000 to Instagram users for following them, and leaving comment with email addresses. Below is an image of Instagram accounts pretend to be real-life lottery winners.

Almost spammers got response from 5,000 to 10,000 followers. After receiving a huge response, they disclose a new Instagram account named “accountant” to deliver $1000 to users. Spammers also asked users to send $0.99 postage charge for a large payment processing. In this case, some users also sent such postage charge and many of users revealed their email addresses to spammers. Below is an image of fake accountant that asked for money from users.

The main object of this campaign was to amass account details to be used for personal use or resale. Spammers also changed the avatar, user name, biography for spamming purpose.

Spammers had spin accounts and after it, the impersonated accounts reappeared with few followers. Though these accounts were bogus, still users hoped that they would get $1000 for following Instagram accounts. Below is an Instagram account that reappeared with few followers.

Symantec has revealed some precautions against this spamming activity.

  • Do not blindly trust everything you see on social media.
  • Raise a question in your mind, when you find such offers.
  • Do not unveil your personal information.
  • Do not send money to the person that you do not know.