Instagram Scam Interview


Instagram has taken over the social media world. With over 1 billion monthly users and 545 million downloads in 2021 alone, it makes sense why Instagram is a huge target for online scams.  Recently, our lovely editor-in-chief, Tanvi Kulkarni, had her Instagram account hacked. The hacker then put a scam on her account which tempted other users to click on a link, thus leading them to get scammed themselves. Scams like this are becoming more and more common, and it’s not just the elderly who are being tricked. 


I sat down with someone from the Northern Howl who was hacked as a result of the scam that was run on Tanvi’s account. The interviewee wished to remain anonymous, but still wanted to share her story. 


Libby Kurt: “How did you get scammed?”

Scammed Student: “So one of my club leaders DM’d me a thing through Instagram that said to vote for her for a competition. I thought it was a school program and she was smart, so I thought it would fit.” 


LK: “What did the scammer do?”

SS: “The scammer changed my password so I was logged out of my account and changed my two step verification email so I couldn’t reset it.”


LK: “How did you react?”

SS: “I tried emailing Instagram and they said they would get back to me within 72 hours, but they never did. I tried reporting the account, but then I just kind of gave up.”


LK: “What ended up happening?”

SS: “The hacker kicked me out of my account, and that is when I realized I was hacked. I used the FHN newspaper account to DM my personal account and I begged for my account back. The hacker was funny and had a Gen-Z type of humor. They were like “if you click this link I will give you your account back” or like “invest in Bitcoin”. They were sending out mass DMs to my followers asking them to invest in Bitcoin. I had to post on Snapchat that I was hacked. The Bitcoin miner eventually gave up and sold the account and changed the username. 


Getting hacked isn’t fun, so here are some ways you can protect yourself from getting hacked.


  1. Use two-factor authentication:

Connect your email or phone number to your account, or use an authentication app to make sure that your account is not able to be accessed by anyone else. A personal favorite of mine is Duo Mobile.


     2. Don’t click on links on Instagram:

Even if you think that the link is secure and from a friend, don’t just quickly click on a link. Make sure it is the link you think it is before you click.


      3. Use a strong password:

Let’s be honest, most of us have 3 passwords that we use for every password for every website. If you want to use new passwords but are worried that you are going to forget them, there are some great master password keepers out there.


Alright everyone, stay safe out there, and don’t vote for your club leaders on Instagram!