Identity verification and new Instagram scam

Publication date: 17 Aug 2020

Facebook is giving users the option to merge their Messenger inbox with Instagram Direct, which grants the ability to send messages across platforms.

Instagram users are seeing a pop-up when opening the app informing them about this update.

Instagram users are seeing a pop-up when opening the app informing them about this update

If a user chooses to update, the entire look and feel of their Instagram Direct will change and will resemble that of Facebook Messenger. Even the icon at the top right of the screen will be replaced with the Messenger icon.

Even if a user doesn’t update, they will still be able to receive message requests on Instagram from Facebook accounts.

Instagram asks account holders to confirm their identity with an ID

Instagram will begin requiring accounts it deems suspicious to confirm their identities using a government-issued ID. Account holders can send a copy of their passport, driver’s license, birth or marriage certificate, green card, visa, tax identification card, etc. In some cases, account holders are asked to send two different documents.

IDs will be stored securely and deleted within 30 days. If an account chooses not to confirm their identity, their content may receive reduced distribution, or the account may be disabled.

Instagram has emphasized that this change will apply only to a small number of the community. This includes accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior, or when the majority of someone’s followers are in a different country to their location, or bot accounts. A range of signals will be analyzed to determine whether an account holder needs to send their ID. 

New Instagram scam steals accounts

A new type of scam is circulating on Instagram. Scammers can get access to their victim’s account by offering to apply for exclusive verified account status. How it all happens: scammers use a celebrity’s account which already has a verified badge and is marked as Verified | Support to send messages with an offer to help their victims get the same verified badge.

Victims are asked to visit a special website and enter their password. Once they have done that, their Instagram account will be lost forever.

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