How the fraudster convinced Instagram that their director had died

In April 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was the main one and seemed to be the only topic around the world, Instagram announced a new feature that allows users to preserve the memory of their deceased loved ones.

The new function of the popular social network serves to provide “a place to remember someone’s life after that person has passed away.”

As Instagram explained at the time, when an account is marked as a “memorial account”, changes to the account can no longer be made. No one can sign in to it, no one can add new photos or videos, no one can comment on previous account posts.

The warrant was practically frozen in time in memory of the deceased.

What could go wrong with that?

Unfortunately, it has been shown that fraudsters can also abuse this function to lock other people’s accounts.

In order for the account to acquire the status of a memorial account, a request is sent to Instagram with a death certificate or a link to an obituary or a newspaper article with the full name of the deceased, which is not something that is difficult for fraudsters to fake.

As it says Vice, one person who lost his account with just such an attack was the first man of Instagram, Adam Moseri.

In September, employees on Instagram were deceived by a fake online obituary and believed that their boss had passed away. The result was the locking of his account.

Vice reporter Joseph Cox was contacted by a fraudster named Syenrai, who claimed responsibility for the fake obituary.

The 38-year-old Moseri was lucky and was quickly given back access to his Instagram account. But there are plenty of other live Instagram users who have had a hard time unlocking their memorial accounts.

And the ease with which accounts can obviously be frozen has led to scammers and trolls happily turning to this method to victimize Instagram users and kick them off the site.

According to Syenrai, if the target account is not verified and has less than a million followers, Instagram’s support team may not even check if the name on the sent obituary matches. He says that if the obituary is new (published in the same week), in 98% of cases Instagram will not even check it.

It has already been written that the dark web offers banning services for Instagram accounts for only a few dollars. At the same time, other scammers offer help to banned Instagram users to return their accounts, which can cost you up to $ 4,000 depending on the number of followers.

One thing must be admitted – the entrepreneurial spirit of online fraudsters is a fact that is hard to dispute.

Instagram confirmed that Moseri’s account was indeed locked, but said that they solved the problem very quickly. It is clear that in the case of an ordinary user, nothing would be quick or easy.

Source: by

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