“The spam of women who are naked or who want sex on Instagram is overflowing… if things continue like this, I’m leaving the social network.” A friend told me this a few weeks ago. And I realized that it is indeed a lot and that I really have been reporting and blocking profiles for months (and others that can be created, as the app allows) of this type to Instagram (you’re welcome, Meta for the help so you can clean your platforms a bit of possible deception).
I have never given them ground and I suppose that many people do not because it is very obvious that they are false, but most likely they are there for some later attack. This conversation gave rise to talk about the tiredness of the profiles that give us iPhones or let us buy one of the latest models for one euro, thanks to a raffle that we won without participating. Fortunately, at least I am receiving fewer of these labels (I don’t know if it is because of my work of reporting each suspicious profile).
Well, after two possible phishing attempts -very invasive- this weekendone by Instagram Direct and another by WhatsApp (where did that unknown person get my number from?), I have decided to analyze how many phishing attacks we are constantly receiving.
And what shocks me is that while technology advances, security tools are getting smarter, our operating systems and others talk about implementing improvements, I continue to receive more phishing attacks in more ways (even invasive ways, because before they landed in a spam folder) than ever before. Does anyone else have this feeling?
DO NOT BE FOOLED! The main SCAMS in ONLINE PURCHASES and HOW TO AVOID THEM
New scam on Instagram with SMS included
“Hello 👋 Sorry to bother you with this, I’m in a contest for an ambassador position as an online influencer, can you vote please?” This came to me privately a few days ago from a person I follow and is following on Instagram. The truth is that by professional default (in Genbeta we publish online security and phishing to inform our readers on how to avoid theft and scams that can be very expensive), I usually respond to these things. I asked where I had to vote, although I already “smelled the toast”.
He replied that “I will send you your entry link, all you have to do is take a screenshot of the link and send it to me and I will send it to my sponsor”, “you will receive a link in your phone text message now“. This sounded to me like what happened to my friend who, after doing a similar favor, ended up without an account for several days, because someone took over her total control, and unknowingly advertising cryptocurrencies. Here is the full story:
I never received the SMS but I realized that I have Instagram linked to a Mexican number from when I lived there years ago. The question is where could that person get my number, which is far from public. So I asked him to see if that person determined to take over my account would confess her secrets to me (he insisted many times that I look at my sms and send him the screenshot) with messages like “check your phone text message, a link was sent to youjust take a screenshot and send it to me” insisting on not clicking on the link. My interlocutor even sent me an example of how that sms should be. Like this:
I told him, once again: I don’t have an SMS and I told him that I probably had my number wrong and where did I get the number from and he hung up: ok he told me. And there she was. I don’t have another contact for this person to let them know that their account was stolen (they probably already know and don’t have access), but I only have it on Instagram.
A friend on WhatsApp wanting to connect in another way
This very morning, a supposed old friend wrote me a WhatsApp. Prefix +258 (Mozambique) even though it was written in Spanish: “Hello, we haven’t communicated for a long time, I don’t know if you still remember me, so I sent you a picture of me now, I miss you so much, how have you been lately? I changed to a new WhatsApp account, I hope you can add my new WhatsApp account We can keep in better contact here https://wa.me/+85246708138“.
The profile picture is of a girl I don’t know and who knows if she’s not a person whose identity has been spoofed. that link takes you to a new WhatsApp conversation with who knows who.
Phishing by Gmail
With this and remembering other cases of people that I know and that we have reported, like my friend when her apartment came, she began to receive emails from a supposed person from Ukraine who wanted to buy the apartment to start a new life, or when it seems that the Treasury does their online procedures… I began to look at how many phishing appear hidden in my different Gmail emails (I don’t always look thoroughly beyond the main tray, because there are many). And I found different robbery attempts.
For example, it turns out that I have been selected for a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and that Mrs Chantel Hermans announces to me that I have been rewarded with 3.7 million dollars by the United Nations. “The payment will be programmed on a Visa ATM card, and it will be sent to you from Banco Santander de España. We need your Address, Passport and your whatsapp number,” Mrs. Hermans tells me.
I also have the same Google team (or so they say in their signature) notifying me that I have lost three emails and asking me to click on a link to see those emails… The good thing is that at least Gmail warns me that “many Users have flagged similar messages as phishing attempts, so this email could contain unsafe content. clicking on links, downloading attachments, or responding with personal information“And Tesco giving me a prize that I can spend on products from the store but, for this, I have to register and enter my information.
Another mail of the style gives me a professional opportunity where I can invest in a million dollar project and manage it. If I’m interested, I have to reply to the email with my information. It would be necessary to see how they would later try to persuade me after having private and contact information.
It is true that many of these emails in Gmail are in my spam but, as a journalist, it may be that in spam you have emails of interest to me since companies issue mass press releases and sometimes Google identifies them as spam, even though they interest us later.