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Instagram Romance Scams

The Dark Night Online | NOTHING MOTIVATES STAFF TO ADHERE TO SECURITY POLICY, BETTER THAN WAR STORIES: I was asked over the weekend, "How do we stop Instagram takeovers?" While I maintain client confidentiality, I will speak to the circumstances within which people are afflicted by digital crime and suggest initiative-taking remedies.


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Here's my response to that Instagram question

(with edits for public).


in order to pursue a criminal on Instagram we first must obtain the PII (personally identifiable information) to chase the criminal.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a privacy barrier that inhibits a digital vendor from passing over private identity details.

To gain those details, Meta requires that we comply with The Federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) and provides terms and conditions within which Meta will comply.

"We disclose account records solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law, including the federal Stored Communications Act ("SCA"), 18 USC Sections 2701-2712."

These terms can be found here:

Meta are one of the most unhelpful and obstructive digital media organisations I have come across.

They will release information only to law enforcement or lawyers and only if a case if placed with law enforcement.

However, the more poignant aspect of Meta's inadvertent obstruction of justice, is that there is no way for a victim to report the specifics of a crime and (or) connect law enforcement to pursue the criminal, while the crime is happening.

It's not just a Meta problem, there is also no provision for a victim of an organised romance, pig butchering or sexploitation scammer to be identified and brought to justice.

Social media creates the problem but does next to nothing to solve it. Which is grossly unfair and unjust.


Prevention is better than cure.


When staff within an organisation are shown what can happen to them and to their organisation through them, they suddenly understand the concerns are real and will act voluntarily to protect themselves and the company.

As I work dozens of cases, I have dozens of war stories that I can communicate for their value to 'shock' staff into reality.

In an environment of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it then becomes easier to get staff to comply with company security protocols.

They (staff) now know that they could be targeted methodically and with surgical precision, allowing the criminal to gain access to the organisation.

However, when it comes to BYOD, there are a good variety of security tools that can be implemented, and which apply security policies to BYOD devices.

While these can help, I personally think that EDUCATION and motivation towards self-compliance through war-stories is the more powerful tool.

Hope that helps.




Bookings help to fund my work supporting the growing number of victims of crypto crime.

#work #education #motivation #socialmedia #security #instagram

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