Instagram and other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become hotbeds for fraud and scammers to steal people’s money.
According to a recent report by RSA Security, there was a 43 percent increase in fraud attacks on social media in 2018. The report attributes the attacks to cybercriminals’ use of automated tools and the ease of access on social media.
Viral “games” that ask common security questions have been an easy way for scammers to get users’ personal information. For months, Twitter users were answering questions about their mothers’ middle name, the street they grew up on and more, unknowingly making things easier for cybercriminals.
Encryption on social media apps like WhatsApp enables scammers to plan and carry out their crimes online.
“In addition to using legitimate mobile apps for nefarious purposes, they are also developing their own apps to increase their anonymity, avoid detection
and otherwise keep anti-fraud forces from tracking them down and exposing what they’re doing,” the report said.
Cybercriminals are also targeting payment apps. From 2015 to 2018, there was a 680 percent increase in fraudulent transactions on mobile apps. These apps include Facebook and Snapchat’s transaction features to platforms like Cash App, Venmo and PayPal.
RSA expects mobile fraud and other cybercrime to continue throughout 2019 as scammers develop new technologies and tactics to reach potential victims.