Scams are everywhere, even on the net. There are 419 scams and fake Nigerian royalty, email spammers who sell cheap men’s performance enhancers, wily bots posing as alluring ladies looking for a little fling, and offers of anything free. Tickets, video game consoles, and iPhones given for free are such strong come-ons today. These scams use a technique called social engineering, which is basically a set of ways through which you can be fooled into doing something based on your current preferences.
One of the many forms of social engineering is your innate desire to get more followers on Instagram. Scammers prey on that desire, and will use it to ruin your Instagram account, your PC/smartphone, or worse, your life – without you knowing it. You can buy Instagram followers and end up either in the heaven of fame and recognition or the hell of undesirability and infamy.
There are plenty of sites where you can buy Instagram followersnowadays. These sites fall into two categories: those that will legitimately raise the number of followers, and those that will fill the photo sharing network with nasty things such as fake bot followers that just blindly follow the whims of their unscrupulous masters.
Besides unethical SMO (social media optimization) concerns such as hashtag abuse, there is also the risk of malware plaguing your smartphone and/or PC. Some sites will unabashedly use social engineering techniques and will make you click the “buy” button while inviting a world of trouble. If the buy Instagram followers site asks for sensitive personal things such as your Instagram login information and credit card information, run far, far away.
A technique called phishing can be employed by those scammers – they will bring out a page that looks exactly like Instagram’s login page in order to fool you into thinking it is the real actual page before you can actually buy the followers you want. But look closely! There will be minor differences between the real login page and the fake one. One, the URLs will be different, even by one letter. Two, there will be intentional typos designed to fool your eyes (for example, o’s are 0’s; w’s are vv’s, etc.) Comparing legitimate sites and phishing sites will be like playing “spot the difference,” but will be worth your time and effort.
Trusting legitimate follower sellers can be a touch road to cross, but it can be done. Here are the following examples of scam sites that say “buy Instagram followers” but give you something else that can be detrimental to you, your site, and your business:
One app promises to give you free followers that are delivered via friend requests. The requests are only seen when you set your Instagram account to private. Those requests will lead you to fake users who have photos of the apps they advertise; and when you click a photo, you will be led to a site where you can enter your username in order to finally download the supposed app. But what you are downloading is actually an Android malware, which leads you to ho-hum survey scam sites.
Another app dishes out the same promise, but is available on both iOS and Android. The app’s modus operandi is to ask for the username and password, which you should not do if you want to keep your social media accounts (and, by extension, all other accounts you own) free from harm. With that MO, hundreds and thousands of users were duped, and the app took Instagram for a ride by adding followers and likes, turning the unwillingly users into unwilling scam bots. Fortunately, the app was pulled out soon after it was discovered.