Watch Out: Instagram Hackers Are Using Fake Copyright Notices to Trick People into Giving up Their Account Details

Watch Out: Instagram Hackers Are Using Fake Copyright Notices to Trick People into Giving up Their Account Details

If you’ve received a message in your Instagram inbox from a major corporation informing you that you’ve infringed their copyright, watch out. It’s a fairly convincing phishing scam that is trying to hack your account.

Like many phishing attempts, the message seems legitimate at a glance. The one I received was from The North Face Chile informing me that I had posted a copyrighted photograph to my Instagram account. The message explains that you need to “provide feedback” or your account will be permanently closed by Instagram in 24 hours. There’s then a link to which of course, immediately asks you for your account details. Entering those details gives hackers access to your account.

The usual flags are present: the grammar, though better than most phishing scams, is slightly off. “As an Instagram team, we pay close attention to Community rules,” the website says, a strange point to make in a slightly odd fashion.

Either the Instagram for The North Face Chile has been hacked or someone has set up the username and bought 152,000 followers to make it seem legitimate. Either way, it’s now being used by hackers to try and prise information out of more users.

If you've encountered this scam or anything similar, let us know in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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That scam message has 7 signs of being a scam.

1. Non-specific addressing, "Instagram User" instead of by name or username.

2. Incomplete sentance "Copyright infringment !"

3. Improper punctuation, a space before the excalmation mark.

4. Non-specific in nature, "a post on your account."

5. Bad grammar: "If you think copyright infringment is wrong,"

6. Bad from: "Copyright Form'" - what's that about?

7. A link to a external site. Any legit message would have a valid link to the same site.

Yeah, they were probably hacked. Appears to be a verified account.

There is another circulating.

I shoot first, ask questions later. I never, ever respond to anyone on any platform or channel contacting me requesting data or requesting that I do something.