Consumer Alert: Instagram Scam - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Consumer Alert: Instagram Scam

Woman duped in Instagram scam (Source: Google) Woman duped in Instagram scam (Source: Google)

If you've spent time on Instagram then you've probably come across people trying to sell things.

Instagram may not be the place to buy. Thieves are trolling the site looking for easy marks.

"When I was little, we always went shoe shopping and it is just something that has stuck," Samone Morgan explains.

Morgan was hoping to add some Jordan Gamma 12s to her closet and was excited when saw an offer on Instagram.

"I came across a guy with a bunch of shoes and was like, 'Oh that is cool,'" Morgan says.

The man was offering her two pairs of shoes for about $300, but her excitement quickly faded.

"I wired him some money through Western Union. He told me my shoes should be here in two to three days," she explained. 

It turned into a waiting game. The shoes never showed up and when Morgan tried to reach out to the seller, she says he blocked her on Instagram.

When she tried his cell phone, the person on the other end told her she had the wrong number.

Morgan knew she'd been duped.

"Western Union tells you before you do it, to make sure you know who you are sending your money to because we can't help you get it back," Morgan explains.

Even though she had heard of this type of scam, Morgan admits because of the back and forth text and Instagram messages, the seller gained her trust.

She says she let her guard down.

Instagram’s site does have a warning about buying and selling.

It reads, "Instagram is a place for sharing your life with your followers through photos and videos. We don't support using Instagram for buying and selling goods or services." 

"I mean, I was angry because I really wanted the shoes. But life goes on," Morgan says.

Western Union also has warnings on its website about common schemes when wiring money. The number one tip: never wire money to someone you haven't met in person.

Morgan believes the shoe selling scheme is common, saying her cousin also fell victim.

"She texted me right after we sent the money and goes, 'I never got my shoes and neither did my friend,' and I was like, 'No, I just sent him some money,' and I am like, 'Man, I hope this isn't going to happen to me,'" Morgan says.

For Morgan, lesson learned: never buy anything from someone on Instagram.

If this happens to you, you  can report it to Instagram. You will find the form in the site's Help Center.

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