How Hackers Steal Instagram Influencer Accounts

www.theatlantic.com

Instagram Influencers are the new king of marketers, using their profiles as a marketing platform for where top brands can sell their products. But as the "gold-rush" expands, there are scammers out there waiting to scam the gullibles. Many influencers have fallen victim to a “Joshua Brooks” of SCL Media. The scammer lures them in with a simple thirst-trap “We would be extremely interested in a business partnership, then would ask the influencer to log into an Instagram analytics tool, Iconosquare (used by many brands to track the success of their influencer campaigns). This link sent by the scammer would lead to a fake site set up for phishing, and once the influencer logs in with their Instagram info, they've now seized control of that account.

According to The Atlantic, SCL Media has targeted several YouTubers, Instagram stars, and meme pages and used the stolen pages to promote scammy-looking apps and fake offers for free products. "It can be nearly impossible to retrieve a stolen account. Hackers will change the contact email address and phone number and reset the username so the account is impossible to find. Then, they’ll run ads on it until they can sell the whole page off for a large price, sometimes more than a hundred thousand dollars." #StayWoke

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