The Picture Picker scam is an ingenious and lucrative scam that gets you to click on phishing links by playing on your insecurities. The scam starts when you receive a message in your inbox from one of your friends on Instagram claiming that your photos have been selected by Picture Picker. These messages will start with phrases such as;

  • “amazing, they just choose your pics” (Notice the typo)
  • “look they are right at the top!”
  • Your pictures were selected, you are among the top choices!

These messages will also contain a link at the bottom to the picture picker page with the title ‘picture picker (we pick pics)’. The latest version of these messages includes the account’s preview which states the following stats.

  • 5 following
  • 8 posts

Naturally, anyone not familiar with these scams will end up clicking on such links thinking that it’s their lucky day but alas, all you will see is a blank page. By the time you realize you have been scammed, hackers will have already gained access to your account and similar messages will have been sent out to your friends from your account. And the cycle continues this way.

How to save yourself from such scams

Check-in with your friend

Although you will receive the message from your friend’s account, the actual sent message will never show up in their DMs. Contact your friend and ask him/her about the message. If the message is not visible to them and they don’t remember sending it to you, then your friend has been hacked and you should not click/tap on the link contained in the message.

Search the page

Naturally, if you receive such a message, the first thing that you should do is to look for the concerned page on Instagram by using the search function. If the page linked in the message in the scam then it will never show up in the search results. If that is the case then refrain from visiting the link at all costs.

These two tricks should help prevent you from falling victim to such scams.


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