The New Instagram Scam Is Popping Up. Folks Beware!!!

Instagram scam

Lottery Scams Make Their Way to Instagram

As of April 2014, there has been an influx of scammers popping up on Instagram. These accounts have been created using actual lottery winners names and photographs. These accounts then encourage their followers to share posts, reveal personal information, and they even go so far as to ask for money!

These scam artists use winners from the UK and the US and the accounts will offer you $1,000 USD to every Instagram user who will follow them, comment on their photos with their email address.

Instagram scam accounts

These phony accounts have been able to dupe thousands of followers. In the case of Merle Butler, the account has gotten over 100k followers!

The Plot Thickens

Once the accounts have gotten a certain amount of followers, the lottery winner’s “accountant” starts contacting the “winners” followers. These “accountants” state that they are tasked with distributing the winnings—with one caveat. The recipient only has to send them $0.99 to cover the postage.

You should send them $0.99

Now 99 cents doesn’t seem like a lot on the recipient’s end—which it isn’t. However, multiply that amount by however many followers, that is a quick payday. Why, for MerleButlerAccountant, that is $21k!

The Gullible are…. Gullible.

You cannot necessarily blame people for wanting to cash in on someone’s “kind gesture,” but… It’s

User comments

a little discerning to see how many people are more than willing to divulge their personal information—especially so publicly.

Periodically, these scam accounts underwent an account pivot. That means the avatar, biography, and the user name was changed so that the account could be protected from being flagged for spamming. By doing this, it allowed scammers to keep using the account.

After the account pivot, the fake accounts reappeared and the imposter claimed the account was hacked and asked the followers to be patient.

Kelsey Zachow account

In the case of Kelsey Zachow, that impersonator is going so far as to ask for their followers to provide their PayPal account address, which is a huge red flag! (I hope everyone who does have a PayPal uses a secondary security key, for that extra protection!)

Lottery Winner Speak Out!

Now you may be wondering what the real lottery winners have to say about their name and photograph being used for this scam.

Merle Butler has issued a statement that he will NOT be giving his millions to strangers on the internet and will be contacting his lawyer. He is even going so far as contacting the FBI and have them handle the problem.

Remember The Golden Rule:

Remember folks, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never give out your personal information, especially on such a public forum like Instagram! You never know who will get their hands on it!

  1. I too have been contacted by Dave Johnson and a FedEx guy by the name of James Kowaleski. Stating I’ve been selected to receive $30K. This James guy will not stop texting me trying to get my banking info. I reported him to the FBI. So now maybe he will stop texting me. He is very PERSISTENT which became annoying. so I told him to text his mama with the BS.

  2. Dave_johnson4839 will not leave my ass alone… all I sent was my address and I have no money to give, he can’t win this battle

  3. I just received a message from “Dave Johnson” as well. He messaged me on Instagram from @Dave_Johnson6927 offering $30k to the first 1,000 followers. I immediately suspected it too good to be true and did a Google search, finding this article. Do not engage with this guy. It’s a hoax!

  4. Add David Johnson using the email and PayPal account Davison121(at) to you list of scammers. I almost fell for this one. He was going to send me $40,000.00. While I did give him some information (already available on my FB page I didn’t send him any money. He was asking for $250 to cover administrative, mail and insurance fees. On Instagram he (they) are using “official_tomc.joef_01” .

    • I got a message from dave johnson also. I was like OK, maybe this is real. I got the text message saying to send the $200 and the money would be delivered. I told both the text message person and Dave johnson, or so it says, that I don’t have the money as I have lost my job. So, suppose Dave johnson said that if I could pay any amount, he would cover the rest. I said I have nothing to pay. I said to him if you could pay, it would be better. So, he said OK. I got a text saying the money was activated to come to me. Now, I thought at first OK, this is real cool. But, later, went on to Instagram and saw that all the posts from this person’s account have been deleted and so did the pic that was with his name. I got suspicious, went online and found out the truth. I am so glad I had no money to give. And am glad I didn’t fall for it.

  5. Add dave_johnson1014288 to the list. I reported the person immediately

    • He got my information but no money I’m a dumb ass offering 700,000.00

  6. What about a guy saying he is sharing his winnings, giving away 30,000.00?

  7. Just got one from Dave Johnson from NY. I gave him my name age address cell phone and email. I also texted info and code to fed ex. Idk if this is real or not. I don’t plan on sending any money if asked. But now I worry. I mean my identity was already stolen due to the Equifax breach. And my credit is frozen so they can’t get anything that way. But now I’m still worried

    • Was davejohnson6238 that’s who got me

    • Probably should learn to not give out personal information to strangers on the internet Amy…

    • I was just contacted by “Dave Johnson” as well. He said I was the winner of $50,000. All he needed was $50 because the check would be delivered overnight by FedEx. He has pics and videos of people thanking him for their checks and money.
      I haven’t given him any personal info, because I feared it was a scam due to the profiles screen name.

    • I was scammed by this fake acct, he was able to hack my credit cards, PayPal and created an Amazon acct using my info and my cards. I am currently trying to get my money back that he stole. He also tried to intimidate me with threatening texts when I refused to send him money. There are multiple accounts on Instagram using this name and he also used the name of James Kowaleski as his FedEx agent. Please check all your accounts and notify authorities if he contacts you again. I have no idea how he got the info he was able to get, this guy or guys are good.

    • I have received the same and have yet to reply with any info worried it’s a scam because it just seems to be

  8. Just had two women using the name of charlenespencer54 and hannakenderick! The one hannakenderick wanted a copy of my debit card! Didn’t give it to her not will ever give information of any kind, drivers license, checking account number, etc!!!

  9. I keep getting on Instagram that I won a lottery one is angelanancy298 but keep getting them a lot

  10. John & Lisa Robinson (supposedly)
    Stated that 20k would be given to the 1st 1000 followers.

    FBI contacted

  11. The reason why you were contacted is to have you fully notified that you are this month’s winner of $1.5 Million Dollars and a 2019 GMC Sierra pickup and also $7000 bonus check for Thanksgiving, on the behalf of the Prize Grab Giveaway Company, you were randomly selected as this month lucky winner congratulations to you once more and welcome on board. Please contact the Head office at 320-318-2624 for further details in ASAP now!!! Instagram name: wylesydesix

  12. I was told by a female who said she worked for Instagram that I had won a large sum of money as I said I was not interested she then ask if I wanted to confirm my account by giving. My personal information on also said no to this the lady because abusive saying I would lose my account so I told her. To F. OFF

  13. What can you do if you have already given them ur banking information and now waiting for them to deposit a large amount of money to your acnt?

    • Go to your bank – explain what happened, and end that account and create a new one with them


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