The Ihanaiset.fi online store, which specializes in Finnish and Moomin products, tells of an Instagram scam that took place in its name this week.
The scammers struck at the real races organized by the trade by making fake profiles in the name of the trade.
- Thousands of people take part in our race, and now scam accounts appeared that copied the contents of the profiles and started sending messages to the race participants about the win, which needs to be verified with a credit card.
Some followers have gone wrong, says Anne-Mari Mikama, the founder of Ihanaiset.fi.
Also read: “Your account will be permanently destroyed” - Clicking on a genuine-looking message will result in the loss of your account
Clumsy Finnish was used in some places in the scam messages, which refers to foreign factors.
The rapid spread of the scam refers to an automated attack, possibly using a bot, i.e. a kind of computer program, to reach the participants in the race.
The scammers instantly became Instagram followers of hundreds of participants and sent everyone the wrong message about the win.
The language of scam messages is often pretty good, but still weird in places.
In some cases, the scammers also answered the participants ’questions by hand, assuring that it was not a scam and rushing to redeem the prize.
The scam linked to a web page that had content copied from the Wonderful Instagram account.
The page was not very credible in terms of language.
Mikama is aware of one confirmed case where a customer believed scammers instructed to register on a website as a winner against their bank details.
The amount lost is unknown.
The scam took advantage of pages created on Google's blog service.
The scam has also been encountered, at least in the name of the HuiGee clothing brand.
In addition, posts have been seen on Facebook, which owns Instagram.
Another online store, Yarn Hell, has warned its customers of a similar scam that uses images stolen from a genuine profile to create fake profiles.
Followers left, competitions stop
The wave of scams now seems to have subsided after the end of the competition for Ihanaisten, but the Ihanaiset.fi account of the store had time to be copied three times, changing the name slightly.
Their names were ihanaisett.fi, ihanaiset_fi and Ihanaiset._fi.
The store has reported false accounts, but Instagram has not deleted them.
- There they are.
Instagram does nothing, Mikama regrets.
The case has made Anne-Mari Mikama wary of new races.
Instagram has not responded to notifications.
Facebook, on the other hand, eventually gave the Wonderful a potentially automatic response that the reported profile made in HuiGee’s name did not violate community norms.
The scams took advantage of pages created on Google's Blogger blog service.
Mikama thanks Google for their prompt removal after the announcements.
The situation has led the Six Wonder Trade, which is working with six people, to consider whether it is still worth organizing the Games on social media.
- It was felt that there would now be at least a break from these competitions.
Not really afraid.
The store lost some followers on Instagram as a result of the attack when people were scared.
- Of course it's annoying.
If I put in a race now, I would probably be wondering 24/7 throughout the race if there is any distraction there again.
The fraudulent website is no longer operational.
It could be that the scammers turned it off themselves, or changed the page to work at another address.
Ihanaiset.fi does not ask its customers to register anywhere to redeem profits.
All the customer needs is the address to send the package.
Hell of a thread warned of a similar scam in its name.