Scammers Promise to Ban Anyone’s Account on Instagram for $60

By Bill Toulas / August 6, 2021

A community of scammers which is, unfortunately, growing in size is offering “ban-as-a-service” for anyone who wishes to see a particular Instagram account gone from the social media platform, for only $60. The actors apparently abuse Instagram’s reporting mechanisms and place multiple reports for impersonated content, harassment, hate speech, promotion of self-injury, and more. This has been confirmed by Motherboard whose reporters have seen screenshots of these service providers promoting their offers and proof of the harassment and resulting censorship.

Source: Motherboard

In one case, the scammer proudly claims that he has been “professionally” banning accounts since 2020, and his team has extensive top-tier experience in doing it. As the listing provider explains, their service may be a bit more expensive, but they can be trusted to actually do the job. Listings of this type are to be found on the ‘OGUsers’ forums, a place that has gained notoriety as a social media account marketplace.

Another provider on a different underground forum is offering banning services for as little as €5 per account and goes up to €30 depending on the number of followers the target has. That provider set the limit to 5,000 followers, as anything above that is particularly hard to ban since Instagram’s mods look deeper into the reports. However, banning these is still possible, as some claim to be able to take down profiles that count up to 99,000 followers.

The crooks aren’t stopping there, though. After the target has been successfully banned by the platform, it is approached by the actors who are offering to restore the account by retracting the reports. The cost of that is between $3,500 and $4,000, while the actors also demand a “refundable” deposit of $1,500 to start the restoration procedure.

Those who fall for this trap are unaware that they could start the restoration process with Instagram themselves, as this option unlocks 24 hours after a user has been banned by the platform. Typically, after providing private account information to the platform and asking for a closer review of the reports that targeted you, the platform’s mods will investigate the matter.

It is obvious that Instagram needs to do a lot more on that aspect, closing the abused loopholes and creating a safer place for users who are not violating any policies on the platform. If you have fallen victim to these gangs, you should start your account restoration from here.

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