For online creators and influencers, account bans are the stuff of nightmares. Unfortunately, there’s a new scam targeting Instagrammers — banning Instagram accounts for just $60.
First reported by Motherboard, these scammers are allegedly running a banning service. People can hire them to ban whatever account they want. Most accounts they ban are up to 5,000 followers, but the scammers claim they can target accounts with up to 99,000 followers. After banning the account, the scammers charge the account owner thousands of dollars to get the account back. Unfortunately, many Instagrammers have fallen victim to this scam.
How are they doing this?
According to Motherboard, the scammers are filing fraudulent impersonation complaints to Instagram. By doing so, the scammers can make fake verified accounts and get the real accounts banned. Also, they have reportedly targeted people by sending fraudulent reports that the users have violated Instagram’s policy on suicide or self-injury.
What is Instagram doing about the scam?
Instagram says it’s currently investigating the sites that are offering the ban service. Additionally, the platform says it will ban anyone who breaks its guidelines. It’s expected that Instagram will try to identify and ban everyone involved with the banning service.
How to avoid this scam?
Unfortunately, many of these scam services are all over the internet. The best course of action you can take is to report anyone you think is engaging in this activity. Also, if you find yourself a victim of one of these services, go to Instagram’s support page. It is there that you can get assistance with reinstating your disabled account.