In the social media world, a little blue checkmark next to a username is a sought-after status symbol. Celebrities, global brands, famous pets, and public figures alike have verified Instagram accounts, indicating to fans that the account they are following is “verified” as the real deal. With an established social presence and verified status, these accounts gain additional visibility, influence, and the opportunity to connect with their fans and customer base. Due to the blue checkmark’s highly coveted nature, cybercriminals have entered the social media realm with fake accounts trying to take advantage of up-and-coming influencers, swindling users out of hundreds of dollars.
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