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Do not trust the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" phishing scam

Also Known As: Instagram Copyright Infringement pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam?

"Instagram Copyright Infringement" refers to a scam promoted on various untrustworthy websites. It operates as a phishing scam; by claiming that content infringing on copyright laws has been detected on users' accounts - it attempts to obtain the Instagram log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords).

Additionally, this scheme requests users' to enter their email addresses. Therefore, the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" poses a threat not only to the accounts in question but also to those providing email services.

Typically, deceptive sites are accessed via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

Instagram Copyright Infringement scam

The "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam states that Instagram removes accounts, which violate the platform's copyright laws. It implies that content infringing on said laws is present on users' accounts. Hence, they are asked to enter their Instagram username to appeal the infringement-related strike/ban.

By typing the username and clicking "Next", users are redirected to a different page. The text presented in it claims that copyright violating material has indeed been found on users' accounts. Users are requested to fill out the following form - to avoid having their accounts suspended.

The form asks to provide the Instagram account's password and email address. It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by "Instagram Copyright Infringement" is false, and this scheme is in no way associated with Instagram.

This scam aims to acquire users' Instagram credentials and email addresses - in order to steal the corresponding accounts.

By trusting the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam, users can have their Instagram accounts stolen. Furthermore, should the Instagram password match that of the entered email account - it can likewise be hijacked.

Email accounts are of particular interest to scammers, as they are commonly associated with other platforms and services. Therefore, through stolen emails - access/control may be gained over connected accounts.

To elaborate on how they can be used, then scammers can use communication accounts (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, etc.) to ask contacts/friends/followers for loans - under the guise of the genuine owner.

Alternately, these platforms can be employed to proliferate malware, i.e., scammers can share infectious files and/or links to malicious websites. Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallet, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.

To summarize, the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam can lead to users losing their Instagram and email accounts, experiencing system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If log-in credentials have already been provided to this scheme, it is strongly advised to change the passwords of potentially compromised accounts. Additionally, it is recommended to contact the official support of the endangered platforms/services.

Potentially unwanted applications are prime suspects behind rogue redirects to various webpages (e.g., ones running the "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam). These apps can have varied heinous functionalities, and these functions can be in different combinations.

Adware-type PUAs operate by running intrusive advertisement campaigns. The delivered ads diminish the browsing experience, and they are also deemed to be dangerous.

Once clicked on, intrusive adverts redirect to unreliable/malicious sites, and some can stealthily download/install software. Browser hijackers are another type of PUAs. This software operates by making modifications to browser settings and limiting/denying access to them - in order to promote fake search engines.

The promoted web searchers seldom can provide search results, so they tend to redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate search engines. Furthermore, most PUAs have data tracking abilities.

Information of interest includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, geolocations, and personally identifiable details. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

Therefore, to protect device and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Instagram Copyright Infringement pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims copyright law infringing content has been discovered on users' Instagram accounts.
Related Domains copyrightinstagramform[.]ml
Detection Names (copyrightinstagramform[.]ml) ESET (Phishing), Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (copyrightinstagramform[.]ml) 172.67.171.254
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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"Doge Giveaway", "Fake flash player update", "TikTok Followers Hack", and "Suspicious movement distinguished on you IP" are some examples of online scams. The Web is rife with misleading and deceptive content. Schemes are designed to gain and abuse users' trust.

The goal is to generate revenue for the scammers/cyber criminals behind the scams. Different techniques are used to profit, e.g., data theft, bogus payments, download/installation of untrustworthy and/or malicious software, etc.

Regardless of what the schemes claim, offer, promise, request, or demand - they must not be trusted. Due to how widespread scams are, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing method of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements spread PUAs as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. PUAs may also have "official" promotional/download sites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources.

Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. Download and installation processes must be approached with care.

Therefore, it is recommended to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc.

Intrusive adverts appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to unreliable and questionable webpages (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).

In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it.

If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Instagram Copyright Infringement" scam:

First page:

 

Instagram

 

Copyright Infringement

 

As lnstagram, we remove accounts that violate our copyright laws. Continue by entering your username to learn about and appeal to copyright infringement related to your account.

 

-------------------------


Second page:


Your account violates our copyright. If you do not fill out this form, we will suspend your account. Our team will return as soon as possible. Please provide us with the correct information for "Copyright Notice". We always work for your security and protect your rights.

The appearance of "Instagram Copyright Infringement" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Instagram Copyright Infringement scam (GIF)

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Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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