Do you follow any creators, artists, or small businesses on Instagram? According to the popular photo-sharing app, more than half of the accounts on the Instagram platform belong to small businesses. One popular way for these independent creators to drum up more attention is to run an Instagram giveaway. These giveaways often require users to share or comment on certain posts to enter the contest. This, unfortunately, is when the Instagram giveaway bots strike. Today, we’ll explore the threat that these Instagram giveaway bots possess and how you can avoid their dangerous attacks.

What are Instagram Giveaway Bots?

Instagram giveaway bots seek out anyone who has recently entered an Instagram giveaway. Their common attack pattern involves sending a message, fraudulently disguising themselves as the original account that ran the contest. These interactions aim to get users to click on a link. The link can lead to a website that might gather your personal data, or it can take you to a page that asks you to input your financial information. 

Attackers use these bots often because they are an effective form of social engineering. This type of attack requires the user to trust the source of the message, which is why they disguise themselves as a reputable account. Although Instagram attempts to remove these accounts as quickly as they can, there are still quite a few that slip through the cracks. 

How to Protect Yourself From Instagram Giveaway Bots

The easiest way to protect yourself from Instagram giveaway bots is to read the rules of the initial giveaway. Accounts that are running giveaways on Instagram typically include a list of rules with their post announcing the contest. Commonly, these rules include how to participate in the giveaway, who is eligible, what the prizes are, and how they will announce the winner. In many cases, accounts will announce the winner publicly rather than through a private message. By keeping in mind that the account will not contact you in a DM, you can effectively rule out any fraudulent messages you receive. 

Another way to protect yourself from these spam bots is to carefully analyze the account that is messaging you. Attackers often create nearly perfect recreations of credible Instagram accounts, making it hard to differentiate between the two. There are a few easy ways that you can tell if an account is fake:

  • You are not already following the account.
  • The username is spelled incorrectly.
  • Messages contain suspicious links.
  • Profile icons and images are low resolution.

Clone accounts that chase giveaways are becoming increasingly more common. It’s important to keep yourself safe from these potential scams. Luckily, there are several ways that you can protect your personal information from dangerous fraud attacks. Take a look at the following tips for ensuring that you remain safe from Instagram giveaway bots.

  1. Report any suspicious messages immediately.
  2. Avoid sharing financial information over Instagram.
  3. Ensure that the account reaching out to you is the official page.
  4. Never open any potentially dangerous links.
  5. Bookmark the original giveaway post using the Instagram ‘Save’ feature.

Facebook and Instagram are encouraging users to immediately report any suspicious accounts that contact them. This is the best way to quickly get rid of a fraudulent account. Because these attacks are so recent, however, there are not yet enough preventative measures to keep these accounts from respawning. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to keep yourself safe on Instagram.

Keeping Yourself Safe on Instagram

If you’re anything like millions of other users, you likely love shopping on Instagram. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many ways that spam accounts can create serious problems for users. There are a variety of different threats that attackers have begun launching on the Instagram platform. Luckily, there are several ways to keep yourself safe on Instagram and protect against these potentially dangerous attacks. Take a look below as we cover some of the best methods for ensuring your safety on the Instagram app.

  1. Never click on suspicious links.
  2. Avoid opening messages from users you don’t know.
  3. Report any spam accounts you come across.
  4. Lock your account and keep it private.
  5. Never share personal information with your followers.
  6. Turn off location sharing settings in the application.
  7. Create a unique password for your Instagram account.
  8. Disconnect Instagram from all other apps.
  9. Use a VPN to keep your IP address private.

Hackers are launching cyber attacks on Instagram every day. It’s never been more important to keep yourself safe on Instagram. Using the tips we mentioned can help you stay secure and start taking back control of your online security. 

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