Published Jul 7, 2022

Share this article

Last Saturday I got a message on my instagram account from an old aquaintance of mine whom I had met at a photography event back in 2017. Little did I suspect who was on the other side.

I had basically met this person at an event once and we’ve been following each other on Instagram for a while.

All of a sudden, I got a lengthy message from him asking me to vote for some program. It was out of the blue and I was still waking up.

I thought if it was on Facebook, I could say I don’t have an FB account and be done with it. But this person was kind of urging me for a response and asked me for my phone number.

This raised a red flag, because for a voting link, I wouldn’t expect it to arrive via text message. It was then that I noted a password reset email from Instagram which confirmed my suspicion.

Then I went back, and noticed some common tricks and patterns used by scammers to force us to make fast decisions without much thought. Below is the conversation with those details that I could notice.

The conversation

I was able to contact the original account owner via another “trusted” medium, and learn that his account was indeed hacked and he wasn’t able to login anymore.

This just goes to show how easy it is for anyone to get scammed. I always thought my account was under the radar because my account doesn’t have too many followers nor do I get a lot of likes or comments.

My social media profile only has the bare minimum required info - my date of birth is wrong, all they need is a year to see if you are older than 18 perhaps. I haven’t linked any phone number to my account as it is not necessary.

Anyways, I checked all security settings and found that I had not setup 2 factor authentication and promptly enabled that.

I just wanted to raise an awareness to everyone that we have to be cognizant of our digital security and take close notice of any unusual activity and think for a bit.

Let me know if you have come across any such incidents in the comments.