Targeting teens: Fraud you might call 'Instascam'
Parents and young people beware: There's a new scam out there targeting Instagram users.
You might as well call it "Instascam" since it's a quick and easy buck for the bad guys.
Instagram is a photo sharing site, popular with younger generations.
"I check it probably hourly, whenever I'm not sleeping," said 14-year-old Kamryn Diaz said.
More than one third of all teens and 20 somethings use Instagram, and now when they go to check up on their favorite celebrities, they're lured by dollar signs.
Diaz said she didn't fall for the scam, but she noticed it right away. There, in the comment section with pictures of her favorite celebrities, she spotted fellow fans posting intriguing comments.
Under a picture of Beyonce, she spotted a message from "Chris" that read, "Do you want to turn $200 to $2000?" And then she saw a comment on Kim Kardasian's picture; "Real people making real money guaranteed."
When Diaz clicked on the username "MakeUMoney_Chriss" it took her to an account with pictures of dozens of people holding wads of cash.
In each picture, there's a cell phone number to call to learn more.
Dial the number an a male voice answered, "What's going on bro?"
Chris did indeed answer the phone and he explained how he can give you more money on a reload card, which is just like a bank debit card that you buy. All he needs is for you to give him the security number on the back of the card or your pin for it.
"Once I access that account with that information, and the time on the receipt when the card was purchased, I'm gonna simply ad zeroes. Once I add a zero to that amount, it's going to turn hundreds into thousands," Instagram user "Chris" explained over the phone.
"So, essentially in laymen's terms, I'm jail breaking the system," he went on to explain.
Detectives say that type of behavior would send someone right to jail if he gets caught, but few do.
"What they're banking on is the fact that because it's such a low dollar amount, is that they most likely won't report it to the police department, and they're probably complicit in a theft," said police detective John Rowe.
Whenever you think you've been scammed, or about to be scammed, you should call your local police department right away.
This reminds us of a golden rule: Never to give anyone a pin or other number tied to money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.