We have seen an increasing amount of Instagram giveaway scams happen over the past few months. Scammers are setting up fake accounts and posing as a brand to run a “competition”.
The copycat, fake accounts look incredibly similar to the brand running the giveaway – using the same profile picture, biography, and a similar username. The fake account then contacts giveaway entrants, congratulating them as the winners in a bid to gather personal data. Scammers aim to get banking information, credit card details, and other personal details.
We’re aware of this happening to several high-profile UK brands, as well as a range of small businesses. The scams cause issues for the brands and Instagram users. It creates suspicion and mistrust on the platform.
It’s important to be aware of how you can safeguard your brand, and your community against this scam. One key strategy is to ensure your audience is aware of such scams in the first place.
Here are some tips for the next Instagram giveaway you run
1. In your competition terms and conditions, you should include information about how the winner will be contacted. Will this be on Instagram? If so, from which account? Ensure that you clearly state which handle will be used to contact the prize winner to avoid any uncertainty.
If you haven’t created a set of terms and conditions before, you can use our free template..
2. State in your giveaway post that you are aware of fraudulent accounts contacting winners and entrants should be aware of this practice. This is a technique that Mob Kitchen implemented after experiencing a huge raft of copycat accounts appearing after each giveaway was launched. Mob Kitchen uses the comprehensive warning – “You will ONLY be contacted by our official verified account. We will NOT ask for bank details. Please report and block any fraudulent accounts.”
3. During the giveaway, share regular Instagram Stories updating users on anything fraudulent to look out for and encourage them to report the accounts to you via DM. And also to block them. You could screenshot any accounts and warn users against these fake scammers. Hopefully, once a large number of users block or report an account, the account will be investigated by Instagram and the user removed.
If you’d like to read more about Instagram giveaway scammers, take a look at this iMoney report into the practice last year.
Have you been affected by this type of Instagram giveaway scam? Let us know how you dealt with it. Join the conversation in our free Facebook Group, the Avocado Social Media Hub.