In these contemporary times, more and more people are making use of technology and electronic devices to take interesting, informative photos. And while there are a variety of technological advancements that have aided this process by enabling us to take better pictures and publish them quickly, none seem as unique and user-friendly as Instagram. With the application, photographers-whether amateur or professional-can snap pictures from their smartphones and subsequently share them with family and friends via social media channels like Twitter. Despite the convenience of Instagram, however, the application recently became subject to a scam that could potentially waste the time and money of their users. By learning more about the scam, you can make yourself less susceptible to all of the problems it might entail.
The Instagram Scam
The scammy version of Instagram recently began appearing on Facebook and Twitter. The false advertisement included marketing a desktop version of Instagram’s photo-sharing application. In discussing it, security vendor Symantec confirmed that it is a scam. Indeed, Instagram is still available through mobile devices only.
Why The False Advertisement?
In discussing why the false advertisements regarding a desktop version of the Instagram application emerged recently, security response manager Satnam Narang pointed out that it is a way for scammers to get users to complete surveys. Once this happens, the scammers are paid through questionable affiliate programs. In discussing why Instagram became the target for this type of shady work, Narang stated that the popularity of the program makes it a desirable target for scammers and spammers. To confirm that the desktop application being advertised is a scam, Narang pointed out that both of the PC versions of Instagram were bogus.
Does the PC Version of Instagram Work?
In discussing the desktop version of Instagram advertised by scammers, Narang reported that “there was no malicious functionality bundled with the software, such as a keylogger or backdoor.” Although these types of ploys were not a part of the desktop version, however, Narang pointed out that the program is still fraudulent. When consumers try to run the PC version of Instagram, they are asked to click on a link which will start two downloads. Once the program is run, a login screen appears. When the user logs in, she or he sees an error message. This message is accompanied by a dialog asking the user if they want to download an additional file which is said to be needed. The program also requests that the user click on various social sharing options before trying the download process again. Finally, the user is led to a screen with a survey.
(Another PC version of Instagram operates in a similarly fraudulent fashion. With it, the user is asked to activate the program. Upon doing so, a pop-up window appears and leads the user to a survey.)
The “Instagram for PC” scam has clearly made waves. In discussing it, Narang stated that over 4,000 people posted about the application via Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, 2,000 people shared the program through Google+. Nevertheless, information regarding the fraudulent nature of the PC version of Instagram is now available and will enable people to cease sharing the scam with other individuals in their social networks. Thus although the scammers may have done damage, it can be stifled and (eventually) stopped