Amazon fires were used as bait to lure victims into fake Instagram donation campaigns. According to a report by HuffPost, scammers took advantage of the worldwide commotion around the theme to encourage potential victims to donate money on an online fundraising platform, as well as enjoy profiles and posts purportedly to contribute to the cause of the burning campaign.
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Fraudulent accounts spread among hashtag posts #PrayforAmazonia and others that have gained traction in recent days. To raise awareness, the profiles mentioned false partnerships with internationally renowned NGOs such as the Rainforest Trust. Also according to the report, the entity confirmed not to have supported any similar initiative on Instagram.
Criminals use Amazon fires as bait for Instagram scams Photo: Nicolly Vimercate / TechTudo
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In one case, according to the report, a scam drew thousands of dollars in donations through a campaign on the GoFundMe website. According to the platform, the page has already been taken down and the victims will be reimbursed – the criminals did not get the money from the fraud.
In other situations, posts mention that each like in a given photo would amount to one dollar for firefighting in the Amazon. Fake prints from a conversation with singer Justin Bieber also circulated on the social network as a way to attract more clicks. This type of strategy is often intended to gain the following followers of an account that will be put up for sale, or to create a base of potential victims for future attacks.
Scams falsify donation campaign and messages with famous people to attract victims Photo: Reproduction / HuffPost
Scams of this type are not exclusively the politics of the burning of the Amazon. Fake campaigns with a criminal purpose are common on Instagram and can also appear in the form of private messages, comments and even feed announcements ie even if the user is not searching for a particular hash tag at the moment.
To HuffPost, a Facebook rep, owner of Instagram, said that schemes like those identified by the publication violate our policies and we will remove the accounts and content that promote them. To protect yourself always check the accuracy of collection campaigns on the official websites of the mentioned institutions. Also, it's important to see if the donor account has a verified stamp.
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