New scam campaign on Instagram: account verification

We've been informed that a new Scam and Phishing campaign is running and targeting Instagram account owners with an important number of followers (10K or more). The campaign allegedly contacts owners to start a verification process for their accounts, and to allow marking the account with a “badge”. By following the link, the victim is redirected on a website that looks and feels like the original Instagram page, and asks for your credentials. Once such credentials are entered, the attacker can gain access to the account and cut the rightsholder out of it.

The Instagram "badge" verification

The badge near your Instagram account can only be requested by the owner: there is no verification process initiated by the social network managers. You can find the information on the official Instagram guide here.

The verification process takes some time and there is a tricky part to have a badge: “your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. We review accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and we don't consider paid or promotional content as sources for review” (source: the Instagram help page)

In other words, you must provide a set of sources where you appear on newspapers, TV shows or have an important media appearance.

How to protect your account

Recovering a lost account may require a charge to your local police prior to requesting an access back to your profile.

We strongly suggest you distrust e-mail messages inviting you to provide your credentials and following such links. Also it may be a good idea to activate the Two Factor Authentication mechanism, that will provide additional security by sending a SMS message to you each time you will be accessing your profile from a different device.

Do you have any questions?

Rights Chain is constantly working on solutions to protect your creativity and intellectual property online. This also includes the ways you share your contents online. Do you wish to know more or keep up to date about your rights? Follow us on our social media and, if you wish, share this post to let more people know about this risk.

Heading photo by on Unsplash



Sebastian Zdrojewski

Sebastian Zdrojewski


Worked for 25 years in the IT industry facing cyber security, privacy and data protection problems for businesses. In 2017 founds Rights Chain, a project aiming to provide resources and tools for copyright and intellectual property protection for Content Creators, Artists and Businesses.

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