Warning issued to a billion Instagram users about access to their account

One billion Instagram users have been urgently warned that hackers may have accessed their account. Social media users who signed up for the app, which is owned by Facebook owner Meta, have been warned.

“Instagram scams are rampant right now, due to its growing popularity and influence,” says Tom Gaffney, lead security expert at F-Secure – who believes fake branded accounts, usually pushing counterfeit products , could be responsible.

“The power of Instagram is in the number of followers you have – the more followers these brands can build, the more harmful activity they can push.”

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Stuart Dobbie, senior vice president of innovation at Callsign, warns that scammers are targeting social media accounts in an attempt to steal confidential information: “Whether or not you have many followers, your Instagram profile will contain your telephone, your e-mail address and other pieces of private information for you.

“If a fraudster hacks that, they can access all of that – and then they can use that information elsewhere.” The telltale sign, experts say, is if there’s a change in your phone number or password.

You can also check which devices have connected to your account. Users are also able to see their activity. “Hackers are more likely to use direct messaging because it’s less visible,” says Gaffney. “If you see direct messages being sent that aren’t from you, that’s another red flag.”

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