MARKETING

How Instagram Scammers Make $10k/Month Using the Dumbest Strategies

They’re not Nigerian princes, yet they make so much money

Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

There’s a long list of moneymaking scams in history, and they evolve technically every year.

These scams, you may have fallen for one or two of them from internet scammers. Or maybe not. There’s a high probability that your teenagers have fallen for some through social media, though. These scam agencies have developed more than humanity expected, and they now take advantage of social media, most especially Facebook and Instagram.

That’s all they do—scam people out of their money, block them, and then move to the next victim. Social media is a happy prompt for them.

So, who would fall for these cheap scams? Greedy young people who are mostly dumb? Not all the time.

Why are young people their target this time around? Because young people are flocking to the internet way more than their elders.

Who are these cheapskate scammers? Very normal people like you and me, who you’d never notice.

And I can swear that they’re not Nigerian princes like everyone thinks.

1. Money Doubling CEO: The Flipping Money Scam

It goes like this. You see an awesome Instagram page with a wealthy man. He has everything an average person would wish for — 500 Lamborghini Veneno cars and 350 private jets — and he lives in a hotel in the middle of the ocean, all by himself. He also looks Hispanic.

This sexy man’s Instagram content just never stops coming, and you think he’s the god of gods. Finally, his bio says it all. He claims to work for a money-flipping organization.

There’s a link to the organization’s page, and it’s funny how curiosity kills the cat at the worst times.

It’s a new page and it goes like this: Invest your money, and in just 45 minutes, turn your $100 into $1,000, $500 into $5,000, and so on.

The feed of this scam page is filled with authentic proof in the form of images, positive reviews, even videos (by their fake influencers) that help them promote the page.

Now, you think it’s impossible to fall for it.

No, it’s not. They’re smart, and they have a strategy they use to lure people who are desperate for money. It starts with a person who falls for it.

That one person falls for it so badly. They convince the victim to flip $500 into $5,000 and that it will be ready in 45 minutes. Time passes, and there’s no credit alert. The victim asks why.

The response may be that they need an extra $350 to process the payment. And it just keeps increasing, depending on how badly the individual falls for it. They then request the victim’s Instagram password, card details, and whatnot (to process the payment).

If the victim successfully gives in, they log the victim out of their Instagram account or hack it, and use it as an opportunity to make advertising posts, saying how legit it is. And there goes the process.

A follower/online friend of the first victim sees the ad post and contacts the scam page. Another victim falls for it. Just like that.

These money-doubling CEOs are successful most of the time because they target the right people, use the right dumb words to manipulate, and boom! They’re swimming in stolen cash in just 45 minutes.

2. The Blackmailing He-Queen

This scam is a comedy skit because when I heard the story from my friend, I laughed to my heart’s content. How do we tell Instagram that scammers are being crowned queens?

It started with my friend (female) living her life peacefully, uploading photos and reels like a normal person on Instagram. But something changed. She got a direct message — but from a fellow girl.

It started with Heys and His, and with answering battling questions she was asked about college and her personal life.

She proceeded to check the lady’s page and there was nothing new — just a sexy rich woman with a kid. And my friend felt like, Okay, she’s probably just really friendly.

Not at all.

The rich lady went ahead to give an unending gist about her personal life, the salary of $870k a month, and why she quit her modeling job because she got so rich after participating in some premium content no one has ever heard about.

It gets better.

She finally unleashes her true self and says she’s very much into ladies despite being married to a man. She said she loves to get freaky. Note that she sounded like a man — the sad wooing lines that men usually use.

Come on! All ladies know asking for a picture makes a man weaker than suspected. She did it anyway.

She goes to turn my friend’s direct message into the adult content she didn’t pay $1 a day for. And I’m surprised how well my friend played it out. She went along with the adult chat.

I thought the lady was going to stop at that, but then it hit me when HE screenshotted all the chats and asked for $300 (a lot lower than I expected) if my friend wanted the chats to be deleted.

He then went on to say that the chats will be posted worldwide if she didn’t send the money within a few hours.

Note that my friend changed her Instagram username and archived all her photos before this — she probably knew what he was up to and was curious to see what was to happen. She got the entertainment she was looking for.

She simply told him to post it, reported him, and blocked him without worry.

This scam type is so dumb, but people still fall for it. I found out that this scam type is gaining momentum on social media, like Tinder and other dating apps.

Their target: men and women that look awesomely perverted.

All they need are fake photos and the ability to chat through the provided resources. Easy.

3. The Contest Host That Earns $99/Person

Instagram and Facebook, they’re both very well known to attract people who are into fashion, style, and beauty, so they’re the perfect places to advertise businesses with these particular topics.

These business owners are smart. Their marketing strategies are top-notch because there’s no denying that social media like Instagram attracts loyal customers.

Well, so does the contest host that earns $99 per person.

Let’s say the contest host owns an Instagram contest account called “Miss Ultimate Beauty,” which has 87k followers (fake and bought) and also follows 0 people.

This contest page has quality studio-shot photos of women or men with the contest guidelines as the caption to the photos. It’s also marked “closed.” And there’s a winner with a fake selected cash prize.

I have no idea how much these people invest to get an Instagram page to look so authentic, beautiful, and gracefully ready for showbiz.

They select a date to start accepting contestants and a closing date as well.

As I said, their marketing strategy is top-notch. They don’t stop at just posting the date, they add an enticing instruction like this:

Miss Ultimate Beauty is back again!!! #missultimatebeauty
Have you registered for the latest ongoing photo contest which is presented and supported by @xxxxxx7u9ho (some fake brand influencer with 200k fake followers)? Well, if you haven’t registered, we are glad to tell you that this current contest is completely FREE!!!
There will be lots of cash prizes for both the three winners and the participants.
Winner: 5,000 USD + the lastest iPhone 20 X Pro Max + ambassador deal
1st runner-up: 2,500 USD
2nd runner-up: 1,000 USD
Other contestants get 200 USD each. (They make sure it’s higher than $99.)
There is more good news — the winner will also be on a monthly payroll.
To apply for this contest, you are required to follow the instructions below:
1) Follow this contest page @missultimatebeautynotascampageant.
2) Share this post and tag 5 friends in your comment below to follow and like this post.
3) Send a photo to us with your full name requesting to be a contestant.
Hurry now while entry is still open! It’s FREE!!!
For inquiries, send a direct message.

They don’t stop there.

They advertise, send bulk direct messages, pay influencers to advertise. They say if you bring a person to join the contest, you get a 30% discount. They’re so good with marketing that you think their cash prize is real. Some of them say you have to get the highest amount of likes on your submitted photo to win.

In their instructions, they say it’s completely free. That’s the biggest lie of the century. When interested people send a message to them, they ask them to pay an entry fee of $99 in less than 72 hours before successful acceptance using the most polite formal message ever.

They manipulate the victim into thinking their fake photo contest is authentic. It’s not. But these young males and females fall for it, and all they can do is pray to win.

It’s all in vain. After a month of embezzling cash from 100 desperate contestants, they announce the fake winner they already planned from the beginning, probably a friend of theirs.

They happily block all the former contestants and sing praises to God for blessing them with utmost luck. That’s as low as these basic scams go.

Instagram and Facebook scams are the highest-paying scams at this point. It’s easy and fun to get money for free. And even if social media has done everything it can to detect fraud, if there’s a human involved, there’s a sense of intelligence.

Yes, they’re intelligent. They use bad English and incorrect spellings, but that’s intentional, to attract the dumb people they crave.

It’s a professional marketing strategy, in the way I see it.

Even if these scammers are going to hell for being awesomely wicked, they teach us something.

They’re successful most times in attracting the right customers that are loyal. They pick the right words and the right ad sources. They go as far as examining people to see if they’re fit to be scammed.

It’s not breaking news. They’ve been going on for ages, these scams. And every day, new scams are formulated. The old scam gets figured out after gaining saturation in the scam business world, and they formulate new ones again.

A neverending process — similar to the entrepreneurship process.

Written by

A medical student with a healthy mind writing about all that matters. Motto: creativity yields success. 💌 Email: winifredakpobi@gmail.com

Sign up for The Better Marketing Newsletter

By Better Marketing

Our map to the marketing world. An occasional newsletter highlighting the best stories, tips, and tools to become a better marketer.  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Thanks to Niklas Göke

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store