New Delhi: A new phishing wave has come to light that starts with a simple friend request on Instagram. The user is allegedly targetted by scamsters sending morphed photos to extort money.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the friend request would be followed by a video call, and then the users would get photos in which their faces would be superimposed with naked bodies. The targets of this highly sophisticated cyber fraud would then have to shell out lakhs of rupees to protect their reputation.
Quoting the police, the report said such phishing attacks were increasingly becoming common, and behind this is a “gang of scamsters” allegedly operating from places such as Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) and Mewat (Haryana).
The Agra Cyber Police arrested three persons from Mewat on July 4 for their alleged involvement in various types of cybercrime, and the police believe they are also part of the gang, the report said, adding that these three men were into making “nude video calls to blackmail people” among other offences.
The police also said the region is becoming the ‘New Jamtara’, the Jharkhand area notorious as a hub for digital frauds.
The Case Of Delhi Man
The report mentions the case of one Rohan Bhasin, who works with a Delhi-based social media marketing firm in a senior position. While the 33-year-old didn’t lose any money, his case gives an idea about the modus operandi of the gang.
Bhasin allegedly got a friend request from a woman on Instagram on July 2, and he accepted it “since she was also friends with others” on his ‘following’ list.
According to the IE report, the woman then sent him direct messages, “asking for his WhatsApp number”. While Bhasin didn’t oblige, he soon started getting video calls from her on Instagram, he alleged.
Once he answered, he found “a naked woman performing obscene acts” on the screen. After he disconnected the call, Bhasin allegedly started getting messages that were threatening to share his video.
He didn’t “give in to their tactics”, but soon started receiving calls from family and friends about a ‘video’ in which he appeared to be having a “sex chat”.
“The scamsters had taken a picture of my face from the video call…and superimposed it on someone else’s body,” Bhasin told The Indian Express.
He then approached the Delhi Police with a written complaint, along with screenshots of his chats.
Quoting cyber expert Rakshit Tandon, the report said all social media users are advised to never answer a video call from unknown persons.
5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android
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.
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.
Credit: 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.
Credit: 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.
Credit: 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.
Credit: 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.
Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters
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.”
How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?
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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