Instagram users in Gedling borough are being warned about a wave of new ‘get rich quick’ schemes appearing on the social media app.
The scam posts ask for a £600 initial investment and promise the victim a high return within just 24 hours.
Scam-busters Action Fraud said it received 356 reports of this type of fraud between October 2018 and February 2019 – with the average victim losing £8,900.
People in the borough also contacted Gedling Eye to tell them about the scam posts which had started appearing in their feeds.
The scam asks victims to pay the requested £600 via bank transfer to the fraudster’s bank account.
The fraudsters then send screenshots showing thousands in profit crediting their accounts, which they claim can now be released – but for a fee.
But when victims want to withdraw their funds, the fraudsters stop contact with the victim and close the Instagram account.
Action Fraud said today that people aged between 20 and 30 are the most likely to fall victim to this type of scam.
Action Fraud said. “Victims have requested to withdraw their funds while they’re still in profit, and at this stage the fraudsters are stopping contact with the victim and closing the Instagram account.”
Inspector Paul Carroll of Action Fraud said: “Opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims who are going about their day-to-day lives on social media.”
He encouraged social media users never to respond to requests to send money from people who they do not know and to check the credentials of any financial company on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) website.
An Instagram spokesperson said: “Fake and fraudulent activity is not allowed on Instagram. We proactively fight against this type of content and are always improving our systems to quickly detect and remove anything that violates our community guidelines.”
More information about the scam and details of how to report cyber crime can be found on the Action Fraud website, actionfraud.police.uk