Instagram for PC? Don’t be duped by survey scammers

InstagramSurvey scammers are using a new disguise in their attempt to drive web traffic to their cash-generating webpages – pretending that PC users can install their own version of the popular smartphone app Instagram.

Security firm Symantec reports that it has seen messages being shared on Facebook, purporting to link to a Windows program that emulates the photo-sharing mobile phone app.

Thousands of social networking users are said to have been duped into sharing links to the program.

Instagram for PC webpage

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

Of course, the PC program isn’t officially endorsed by Facebook (the owners of Instagram). That in itself may make you nervous about installing the software on your Windows computer, but the researchers at Symantec say that there is even more reason to think twice.

Instagram for PC

According to the security company, when you install the software you are directed to complete an online survey – earning affiliate cash for scammers:

The most recent version of Instagram for PC now claims that in order for the application to work, the user needs to “activate” Instagram. At the bottom of the application, there’s even a warning in red text that the service is “not activated.”

Clicking on “Click here to activate” results in a new pop-up window that again asks the user to “complete a quick offer or survey” in order to activate Instagram.

Instagram for PC Survey scam

Similar scams are commonly deployed by fraudsters of Facebook, attempting to dupe users with false promises of supermarket gift cards, free airline tickets or access to shocking celebrity videos.

The good news is that there doesn’t appear to be any malware (such as keylogging spyware or a backdoor Trojan horse) bundled inside the Instagram for PC software, but the fact that it redirects users to money-making surveys is good reason to be wary.

As Symantec points out, if you really want to access Instagram pictures on your PC, maybe the best method is simply to visit the Instagram website rather than install unauthorised programs that claim to emulate Instagram’s smartphone on your Windows PC?

Learn more about Instagram for PC on Symantec’s blog.

If you are on Facebook, and want to be kept updated with news about security and privacy risks, and tips on how to protect yourself online, join the Graham Cluley Security News Facebook page.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

One comment on “Instagram for PC? Don’t be duped by survey scammers”

  1. Nasser

    thanks alot.when i read this " you can log in with the account you use for your mobile device " ,everything was clear for me.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.