Instagram Bans Popular Meme Account With 14M Followers Over Coronavirus Fraud
By Mikelle Leow, 31 Mar 2020
Image via Shutterstock
Despite having a platform with the ability to convey positive messages to millions of jaded social media users, one viral Instagram account turned the other way by posting multiple versions of a scam.
As reported by Daily Dot, the @bestmemes account, which had close to 14 million followers, was banned by Instagram after repeatedly posting fake tweets about the coronavirus that were posed to look like they were written by Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
“Due to the CoronaVirus, if your state is currently under lockdown, you are eligible for US$1,000 via @PayPal by completing the #StayAtHome survey,” fake screenshots of the tweets read. “Stay strong everyone.” They were also accompanied with a faux PayPal balance statement of US$1,448.71.
The account additionally pointed followers to the link in its bio, claiming that the US$1,000 giveaway would end at 7pm.
The fraudulent posts were taken down by Instagram for spreading misinformation on COVID-19. @bestmemes later reinstated the fake Obama tweet, but it was deleted again by the platform.
Eventually, the whole account was banned on Instagram. A Facebook spokesperson told Daily Dot that the popular account was removed from the platform due to “repeated community standards violations.”
This is part of a big gross affiliate campaign that I've been tracking for months. The 'giveaway' asks for personal information to 'enter', which is sold to marketers. Influencers get paid $1.50 per signup.— Tim L (@telenardo) March 31, 2020
They're also impersonating the CDC, Chick-fil-A, Trump, Sony & more 👇 pic.twitter.com/nUOVz7l0PT
[via Mashable, cover image via Shutterstock]
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