The internet is a hotbed for all sorts of scams. Just like any other social network, Instagram has a fair share of scammers out there.
Instagram has become an attractive and vibrant marketplace to sell everything ranging from shoes, clothes and accessories to electronics and other services.
Unfortunately, some of these sellers are only looking to make quick money on Instagram through fraudulent ways.
There are genuine businesses on the market, but there are crooks on there as well.
This blog post will guide you through the red flags to help you spot scammers and fake Instagram shops.
It is important to be aware of such scam strategies used to try and rip you off.
Payment before delivery
Most business owners online will prefer to receive payment before delivery in order to be sure of their money before the customer receives the product/service.
This puts the customer at a disadvantage, especially when there is no physical interaction between the customer and business on Instagram.
It is a point of caution if you want to buy online. Ask the business that you would like to make your payment on delivery.
Scroll through the feed of the account you want to buy from. If there are a lot of screenshots and low-quality images, they may be a rip-off.
Why? They might have taken that image somewhere on the internet and just uploaded it to their feed.
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If Mobile Money scams have taught us anything, it is that scammers make a lot of grammatical errors.
If you see a lot of typos in an account’s captions it may be a sign to take your money elsewhere.
A serial fake seller looking to make quick money may get caught often, so they come up with the excuse of being hacked.
No, they were not hacked, they were reported and had to create another account to scam more innocent people. Don’t fall for that.
Low Follower-Likes ratio
There’s a case to be made for Instagram engagement discrepancies, and even the most legit of businesses face low post engagements, despite their high following.
But this is peculiar for fake businesses who may have about 20,000 followers and only 4-10 likes.
Instagram likes and followers can be bought but real engagement can’t.
That leads to the next point which is fake followers.
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If a Ghanaian Instagram business has more Indian and Russian followers than Ghanaians, then it may be a scam account. You’d expect to see more of the target market following the account.
People can buy thousands of followers to create an image of being a genuine business with a lot of satisfied buyers.
Scan through the account’s following list to see who follows them.
You can view some important information about an account on Instagram; such as the date the account was created, former usernames, and the country the account is based in.
- Open the account’s page
- At the top right corner, tap the icon
- Tap About This Account
You can make a more informed decision based on this information.
No one should have to lose their money in an online transaction to a fake seller. I hope these tips help you avoid scam accounts on Instagram.
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