Instagram Scam Could Possibly Lead To Identity Theft

A potential scam is using the name of a South Carolina Powerball winner, asking for reposts and emails.

You use your email for everything, it’s your login to your Faceook, it’s your username for Instagram, and it’s even linked to your bank account.

But, giving up your email address could be just enough to open you up to a scammer.

“There’s multiple types of pages out there under this gentleman’s name saying we’ll give you money if you just give us this little bit of information and that’s your red flag,” Juliana Harris with the Department of Consumer Affairs said.

Within the past couple of weeks, you may have seen reposts on your Instagram timeline with followers hoping for thousands of dollars if they provided an email to what they think is the profile of Powerball winner Solomon Jackson Jr.

“We’ve all, kind of, gotten wise to the email scams and even text message scams, so I can see why a scammer would see a lucrative offer in social media,” she said.

The page racked up thousands of followers within days. Harris says user emails could be used in various ways.

“Scammers will cultivate distribution lists and then they’ll sell it to other scammers,” Harris said. “We see it all the time with lottery scams and that’s usually with phone numbers, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t happen with an email address.”

And even if they don’t sell your email, they could be watching you.

“Scammers are notorious for using things called key loggers. And what it does is it downloads the virus on your computer and then it logs the keystrokes that you make. So they can tell where you’ve gone and what passwords you’ve typed in,” she said.

That could even open up your contacts to receiving phishing emails.

Harris warns that even just the the words or numbers in your user name could make you a target.

“If it’s put together with a couple of other pieces of information that you’ve accidentally given to somebody it can become identity theft,” Harris said.

If you or someone close to you did repost the link or give up your email, Harris recommends changing your passwords.

And feel free to take a screen shot of the page, so the department of consumer affairs can keep a file on it.

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