About this Article

A few days ago, an user from overseas followed me on Instagram, so I followed back and received a DM from her.

I was then told that I had won something called the "Instagram Online Recognition Award".

There were only 24 winners of this award, and the prize money is 1 million US dollars.

I was slightly hopeful that this was a blessing in disguise, as I have not had good luck lately, but there is no such thing as a good deal, is there?

This is a common online scam.

I did a Google image search with the profile photo and other photos posted on this fraudulent account and found that they were of a person with a completely different name.

So this scam was using the photo without the person's permission.

So, in this article, I will show you the whole story of my communication with this scam.

I wanted to somehow prove that it was a scam, but I regret that this person got away from me...

The whole story

It all started with a follow from an account named "mrs.norbergflorence".

I followed the account back and received a DM shortly after.

To my surprise, the person said that he/she was from the Instagram headquarters.

My name is Florence Norberg from Instagram HQ. And I have been authorized by the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of Instagram Social Network Inc. to contact you. Do you know why I was assigned by the CEO of Instagram to contact you today?

I don't know what she is talking about.

Please note that the picture of the person's face is blurred for privacy, as he/she is a completely different person who actually exists.

According to this person, I am eligible to receive US$1,000,000.

I am pleased to inform you that you are among 24 lucky winners who have been fortunate enough to win a total of $1,000,000.00 (US$1,000,000.00) in an ongoing online Recognition Awards Promo. This was set up as a promotional strategy to promote the use of the Instagram social network worldwide.

My Instagram account doesn't even post much.... What was appreciated?

Even if it is a scam, I am curious as to why my account was chosen.

Congratulations! Please know that the winning funds are real and 100% legitimate. Thus, there is no need to worry.

The recipient is sending the message using Google Translate.

In addition to the strange Japanese, I am already feeling suspicious when she claims her own legitimacy at a stage when I have not yet asked any questions.

For some reason, the person presented her own ID card.

However, as you can see, it is clearly a composite photo.

Even if it were not a composite, it looks as if it were taken in a studio.

I wonder if they ever go to the trouble of taking such a beautiful picture of a just an employee ID card.

Would a large company do it?

I was suspicious, so I asked her if she could take a picture of herself with her employee ID card in her hand.

Then she got a little angry.

Sir, you said I should send you my ID card, why do you ask me to hold it, if you are not interested in this award winning fund, please let me know .

Trust me, I said, nothing is sacred just trust me. I promise to accept my prize now.

I guess she got angry and her writing became rough, and it is getting difficult for me to understand her Japanese on Google Translate.

Therefore, I asked her to send me a message in English.

As you can see from the screenshot above, she needs to send the following personal information in order for me to receive the money.

1• First Name: 2• Last Name: 3• Country: 4• Residential Address: 5• Age: 6• Occupation: 7• Mobile Number: 8• Email Address:

I didn't send it because I was afraid it would be misused, but if I had sent it, what would have been the next procedure...? I am interested in that.

By the way, I was told that these personal information will be sent to a certain department.

You're advice to accurately fill-in the form from 1 to 8 and send it directly to me here in a presentable manner, so that i will forward it to the department to enable them proceed with the claims of your winnings

I asked, "Which department are you sending them to?" and he replied, "Our department".

Perhaps it was my poor English, but the conversation was becoming more and more difficult.

When I asked, "What is the name of your department?" the following response came back.

The first part of the screenshot above is the answer.

I received the address of the head office, not the name of the department.

Our Headquarters is located at JPMorgan Chase Building, 560 Mission St, San Francisco, CA and this is the number to reach the staff in our DEPARTMENT : +16506003145

They continued, and furthermore, insisted on the safety of the product.

So everything is safe . You don't have to worry about anything at all. Once you fill in this details. Its going to be Used exclusively for the registration of your winning funds as the sole beneficiary owner of this winning funds in your name . As the certified owner. So you have to fill in this details now. So we can proceed without any delays.

That's a odd sentence.

Here, I asked if we could talk through Google Hangouts or something.

Here, I asked if we could talk through Google Hangouts or something, just to try it out.

Then she appealed for more safety. Three "!" are added after "Listen".

Listen!!! I want you to know that Instagram values your right to privacy! Your information is 100% secured and will be used exclusively for the purpose of this award only.

By the way, she said she could not do Hangout because it was outside the scope of their work.

Only this award is my job so I don't do hangout please.

And finally, she told me that if I didn't want to fill out the form, she would cancel it....

If you don't want to write down your information I will inform our department and they will cancel your winnings funds now.

She also sent me a photo of the letter to the winners, signed by Adam Mosseris, CEO of Instagram.

Here’s a direct letter from the CEO Mr ADAM MOSSERI in regards to a total recognition that you are one of our winners and you fully do have the right 100 % to claim your winning funds and you will successfully receive your winning funds today without any delays. Thanks .

In addition, a note was sent to me stating, "It's true and trust me."

I got the feeling that she understood my intention of "proving that it wasn't a scam" and was a bit more cooperative.

So, in a friendly manner of speaking as well, I decided to ask again if they had the ID card I mentioned earlier now. If so, I thought I would ask her to take a picture of it and send it to me.

Oh! Thank you for the message :) Do you have the ID card right now??

Then...again, that picture was sent to me.

Why is she so persistent in sending me only this photo.... I would like to see another picture of this ID card somehow.

Well, I told her again that I appreciate her and asked her if she has the ID card now and if she is in her office.

Thanks! So you have the card right now at your office, right??

However, she changes the subject and ,again, tells me that she will cancel it.

Sir . With all due respect I've showed you my ID card . If you don't want to receive your winning funds. You tell me . If you want to cancel it. You also tell me as well too

I thought it would be cancelled, so I told them that I was interested in the award and that I was being cautious because it was personal information.

I AM interested in this award! But as you kindly understand, I need to be carefully for the usage of personal data concerning the these day's security issues happening around the world. Could you agree with me??

I was able to get her to agree to this, but she urges me to enter the information immediately.

Yes It's safe So fill your details now

I felt that it was time to go...but I continued to ask this and that question.

I even said something like, "If you are working responsibly, please let me trust you first.

But they were in a giving up mode.

Give this a trial and see everything for your self. Fill in this details and if you don't receive your winning funds then don't trust me

Perhaps she was trying to say something like, "If you entered your details but you don't receive your winnings, then don't trust me."

I responded to that statement with, "Isn't that irresponsible?".
She then made her account private or deleted it with the following words

Make things easy for your self. And fill in this details. Once you do so . Everything is done and settled

Screenshot of the actual communication

It was a long conversation, but that is all the conversation we had.

I wonder what this will actually be used for if I give them my personal information....

By the way, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I did a Google image search with the image posted on this person's account and found a hit from a completely different person, a German person.

I would like to report this to that person.

I don't think too many people get fooled, but be careful out there!

Author Info
Profile Icon

Director of web and marketing

Kota Shimizu

I've been working in web, video, and magazine production fields, experienced planning, design, photography, coding, marketing, and business improvement. I'm an omnivorous director who can handle anything in a widely.