As the name suggests, an influencer is someone whose opinions influence a large social media audience. While influencers usually attract sponsorships from legitimate brands, these accounts can also be used as a tool for cybercriminals.
Instagram influencers often host special giveaways to raise brand awareness. Typically followers are asked to comment on the post for their chance to win. Unfortunately, bad guys then use these comments to target their victims. You may receive a message from someone spoofing the influencer’s account or claiming that they work with the giveaway host. Then, you are told that you won the giveaway, but that you need to pay a shipping fee or provide some personal information. Any information provided goes straight to the cybercriminals. Don’t fall for it!
Here are some tips to stay safe from influencer scams:
- The technique could easily be used on any social media platform. Be skeptical of anyone who contacts you that you don’t know personally.
- This attack exploits your excitement of winning a prize to get you to act impulsively. Don’t let the bad guys play with your emotions.
- Remember that cybercriminals use more than just emails to phish for your information. Always think before you click!
Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.