A few days ago a familiar meme started circulating on Instagram. It was full of pretty odd fake legalese telling users to post this message or a similar one to prevent Instagram from being able to publicly share their content. It went viral pretty quickly, with celebs and influencers posting it an encouraging their followers to do the same, before being debunked as a hoax within a few hours. Stuff like this pops up periodically, duping celebs and every day users, so I decided to do a quick post on how to recognize some common social media scams and how to keep yourself from falling for them!
The Repost This to Save Your Rights Meme
As discussed above, this makes no sense. Posting a piece of content on an app does not suddenly make you exempt from the app's terms and conditions. It's an unfortunate reality that most people do not read the T&C of the apps and services they use. If an app changes their T&C they notify all users. If you read the update and decide you disagree with any terms, your only option is to cease use of that app. Continuing to use it means you agree to those policies, and posting some fake legal jargon does not make you exempt. If you are concerned about how apps are using your data, take a second to read the terms and conditions, do some research on any language that you find confusing and make an informed decision about whether or not you agree and want to keep using it.
The DM Us Let's Collab Comments
On almost every single picture I post, I get a few comments from someone claiming to rep a company I've never heard of, telling me I'd be a great brand ambassador and should DM the main account and tell them so and so referred me! When I first started blogging and was looking for brand partnerships those comments were exciting! They seemed like a great potential opportunity to work with a new brand and build my business. However what inevitably ensues after you contact them is absolutely not legit! These companies typically launch into a long winded explanation of how they will give you a promo code for a discount on your purchase and after you post and share or generate a certain amount of sales you may get a bigger discount or free product. That is absolutely not how most influencers work, and if you need a refresher on negotiating brand deals, click here for my tips on making money as a blogger!
First of all, any legit brand or business that wants to work with you as an influencer will contact you directly, either through email or them dming you. And they will probably get in touch from the brand account or at least a PR agency, not a random individual. Don't worry too much about these guys though- they can be annoying but are usually not a flat out scam
The Mysterious Click Bait DMs
Hacking has become a big problem on Insta. I have heard several stories from influencers who have been hacked, including 4 in the last month! But regular users are vulnerable to hacking as well. I got a DM from a photographer who I shot with last week, with a link to something he said he put together for me. Ordinarily I would have clicked it, but I had just heard my friends nightmare story of getting her account hacked so I was on high alert. It came from someone I knew so didn't want to look crazy, so I responded normally but didn’t click it. He wrote back a few hours later saying that his account had been compromised and to not click on any links from him. Luckily I didn’t click it! This is a tough one because friends send each other files and links all the time so you never know if it’s something you can trust or not. Use your judgement and immediately enable 2-Factor Authentification on your IG!
Let me know any other social media scams, tricks or other annoyances and how you deal with them!