Jesse’s Story of the Day

Jesse takes on Instagram scammer and explains how to protect yourself


It’s the promise of big money-with little investment, called money flipping. It’s one of Instagram’s newest scams and it’s aimed at your kids.

Bryan Seely is a well-known internet security expert and the CEO of Internet Seely Security.

He says money flipping is the old Ponzi Scheme warmed up for a new generation.

“Most of the adults that I know above the age of 35 wouldn’t fall for this stuff in a million years. None of them would. They’ve seen this on the news, they’ve read it in newspapers, they’ve been around the block. So, why not go after the people who just turned 18, 19, 20,” said Seely.

I decided to then take matters into my own hands and text a money flipper to see what happens.

He says he’s a supervisor at Western Union and he’ll be able to get my money in five minutes guaranteed and no longer.

For a $500 dollar investment, he says he’ll send me $6,500.

The money flipper also provided me with his name and address. I plan on contacting Western Union and the police.

To put an end to scammers taking advantage of kids, Seely says parents need to get these apps and see what their kids are facing on the internet.

“If you don’t have Instagram, get it. If your kids have it, you should have it too. You should at least know what world they’re playing in,” said Seely.

It’s also important for parents to learn social media and not keep their knowledge a secret from their children and love ones.

“If we teach people these principles of being skeptical, fraud, scams…it doesn’t matter what the name is. Fill in the blank. And teach them and prevent this kind of stuff,” according to Seely.

Instagram Statement: 

Facebook, which owns Instagram, employs a number of machine-learning tactics to detect and prevent abuse on our platform. We look for behavioral patterns to identify and remove specific accounts responsible for these scams. We’re also able to coordinate proactive efforts with banks and other companies through our threat intelligence platform, ThreatExchange. More than 400 companies participate in ThreatExchange (including ZeroFOX) to share information about bad actors and tackle industry-wide issues together. 

As background, our anti-abuse systems run more than two million classifiers, which are retrained every day to stay ahead of the evolving tactics used by scammers.


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