Talking about internet scams can be a dark and scary topic, so let’s start with a little story:
It’s 10pm, you entered the latest Sneaker Freaker giveaway a few days ago, and you’re anxiously awaiting the results. Suddenly, your phone lights up! ‘OMG’ you shout, and quickly pick up your phone to stare wide-eyed at the gleaming notification. It’s an Instagram DM from sneakerfreakermag_team saying that you’ve won the giveaway. All you need to do to claim the prize is hand over your personal top-secret information through a suss link. You sit there confused, you know at SF they announce giveaway winners via their IG Stories, and will DM from their own account (sneakerfreakermag). Adrenaline is coursing through your body while you question if this message is legit or not. The prize on offer is your Grail, so you hand over your information and wait for a response. But there’s nothing...
A few days pass, and you get a call. It’s from the FBI, and they tell you that your identity has been stolen, thieves have ransacked your place to steal your sneaker collection, and your bank account has been drained. You’re a mess. Your life is ruined and, to add insult to injury, your dream of winning a Sneaker Freaker giveaway didn’t come true. If only you were told to beware who’s lurking in your DMs!
Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to do, because we’ve recently seen too many Instagram scams, especially surrounding giveaways. Basically what’s happening is when you enter a giveaway post on the Gram, sometimes an account using a similar name to the account that made the original post will DM you. They’ll tell you that you’ve won the giveaway, and then they ask you to hit a URL and enter your details. While the story told above might be slightly elaborate – you will most likely not have your whole life ruined, or get a call from the Feds – you could still lose some of your hard-earned cashola.
It’s not always exactly clear what these scammers will do with your precious information, but with the effort they’re going to, you can assume it will be something sinister.
We don’t want that happening to you, so here are some helpful tips to help you become a little more cautious of who’s in your direct messages.
First up, if it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam. We aren’t all walking-talking shamrocks, so if you get a DM about winning something, it’s a good idea to be automatically skeptical – unless it’s straight from our account and you get shouted out on our IG stories!
Secondly, check out the account before you hand over any information. If it looks a little suspect, then it most likely is! It’s also a good idea to read the Giveaway T&Cs, because they’ll tell you everything you need to know. A legitimate business won’t be hosting a giveaway/competition and then ask you to click on a suss link to hand over personal information.
Be cautious, because the last thing we want is for any of our loyal readers and giveaway enterers to get scammed. It sucks, so please beware!