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BBB Scam Alert: Social media scammers sell phony wigs at high-end prices

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TUCSON (KVOA) – Social media is rife with misleading ads, but sometimes con artists go a step further. They create social media accounts, build (or buy) a following, and con consumers into paying big bucks for products or services they never plan to deliver. Recently, BBB Scam Tracker has seen an increase in reports of social media scammers selling (allegedly) high-end wigs. 

How the Scam Works

You find a social media account, typically on Instagram, that features professional-looking photos and gorgeous wigs. The “influencer” claims to be a professional stylist who works with celebrities and seems to have a substantial following. You contact the seller and they offer you a deal on the wig you showed interest in. When you accept, they ask for payment through a digital wallet app. After you’ve sent the money, the seller promises to deliver the wig by a certain date. The scammer may ask for extra money to make your wig just right.

When your wig arrives, it looks nothing like the one in the photos! Or you might never receive any wig at all. When you try to contact the seller to find out what happened, they claim they will deliver it soon, or they simply deny the sale ever happened. Either way, if you press for a refund the seller will block you and disappear.

One victim told BBB Scam Tracker that she spent $900 on a wig that never arrived.  After trying to get a refund, the Instagram influencer she purchased from blocked her—as well as posted her home address.

“She told me she’s blocking me permanently and she’ll be in touch via her attorney. Never did I hear anything from any law practice. And never did I get my money back,” the victim reported. “To make the situation worse, the lady started posting my private HOME address on her public Instagram account for everyone to see. I trusted her with my sensitive information and she publicly leaked it!”

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How to Spot a Social Media Sales Scam

  • Take a closer look at the seller’s social media profile. Legitimate sellers will post frequently, respond quickly, and clearly display and describe the services they provide. Fake social media accounts lack original content, only give generic introductions, and don’t have much genuine engagement.

  • Read their post comments. If a seller is less than reputable, you may find comments that point out poor customer service or outright scams. Keep in mind though that sellers can delete or hide bad comments, so a lack of negative comments doesn’t always mean a business is in good standing.

  • Check for clear sales protocols. Reputable businesses will have a clearly laid out process for making a sale and delivering a product. In addition, sellers should give you written confirmation of your purchase and detailed instructions on what to do if you need to cancel your order or request a refund. If a seller’s information on payment or delivery is vague or if they can’t offer you a receipt for your purchase, shop somewhere else.

  • Use safe payment methods. It’s always best to pay for products and services with your credit card. That way, if anything goes awry, you can contest the charges. If a seller insists you pay via a digital app, especially if they are adamant that you should label the money as a payment made to friends or family, think twice. Circumventing normal payment methods is a common tactic scammers use to get away with your money.

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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