Saturday, February 4, 2023


Don’t fall for these two online scams

Here are two scams making their way around the Internet recently. Steer clear of these, and please tell your friends to do the same.

1: Better than Netflix?
Beware of spammy web ads promoting “free” streaming services “better than Netflix.” Readers have alerted to deceptive posts advertising streaming content services called “PlayJoltz” and “SmushGame,” both of which consumers say swindled them by repeatedly debiting their credit cards after they signed up for so-called “free trials.”

Both companies appear to be operating out of Cyprus and employ bogus user comments and fake press coverage to convey the impression they’re legitimate and popular. In reality, they are boldfaced scams. Read more at

2: A new phishing scam aimed at Instagram users.
Yes, phishing, not fishing. Fishing results in a tasty fish dinner. Phishing is a scam technique used by criminals to gather personal information about you by luring you to fake websites with juicy offers. They can be after your account info, bank info or many other types of information that they can sell to other criminals on the dark web.

This scam is aimed at Instagram users. We do love posting pics on Instagram. A few special Instagram users have a blue “Verified” check mark next to their names. Since this is exclusive, people tend to covet the idea of being verified by Instagram. Normally, this is hard to get. But what if anyone could get verified? All you had to do was fill out a form proving who you are. Seems too good to be true, right? Well, it is.

The folks over at came across a website that called itself instagramforbusiness. The website requests information about your Instagram account and other personal information so you can become “verified.” Then they hijack your Instagram account and spread misinformation as well as using your info for other nefarious purposes.

You can take a few steps to ensure that you avoid this scam and others like it:

  1. Look at the entire URL of a link before you click on it. Phishing schemes will sometimes use links such as
    [real bank name or company].update-your-info-[characters inserted to obscure the real URL].info or other names that are not the actual website of the company. It’s hard to see that you’re not actually on a legitimate website, but are instead connected to a fake website that’s scamming you.
  2. Also, look for the green lock in the URL bar and make sure that the website begins with https:// or something like this:
  3. If a legitimate company wants you to update your information, they will typically ask you to log in to your account and verify information there. They don’t call you on the phone or email you a link to an insecure online form.
  4. You can also click on the green lock to see what website is using this certificate and make sure it’s who you think it is. Here’s what’s certificate looks like.

The good news is that it looks like this particular website has been shut down. But these scammers are relentless and you can bet the next scam has already been launched.

For more on this scam, check out this Securi blog post.
For more about phishing scams, you can read this Securi blog post. will never ask for, or share, any personal information about you. We only need your email address and name when you subscribe to our newsletters or comment on a story. You can read our privacy policy here.

Stay safe out there and be vigilant – this is only going to get worse.

Kim Christiansen
and IT for


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Bill T.
3 years ago

Thanks for the much appreciated info.

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