If you use Instagram, be wary of fake notification messages claiming that your account has violated copyright and is set to be deleted.
The messages instruct you to click a link to deal with the supposed copyright violation and stop your account from being deleted.
Clicking the link in the messages opens a fraudulent website that contains the following alert (screenshot):
If you click “next” a second fake form asks you to provide your Instagram account login credentials (screenshot):
The fake website may then ask for your email address and email account password before displaying a notice claiming that the copyright issue has been dealt with and your account will not be deleted.
Meanwhile, criminals can collect the information you submitted on the fake website and use it to take control of your Instagram and email accounts. Once they have gained access, they can use the accounts to distribute spam and scam messages in your name and pose as you online.
Instagram scam messages like this are common and take many forms.
If one of these messages comes your way, don’t follow any links it contains. Always access Instagram via the official app or by entering the address into your browser’s address bar.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!