Instagram Wine Scam

I don’t, but if you use Instagram you may want to read this article by Miquel Huquin on a new scam aimed at wine lovers on Instagram

The new Instagram wine scam ·


Thanks for posting the warning. I had not realised the scam was doing the rounds.

Thanks for posting. As an occasional Instagram user I hopefully have nothing to be concerned about :crossed_fingers:

There have been quite a number of these lately including St. Clair winery in NZ… same type of thing , “youve wine a prize” etc…

Spoofing legit website is dead easy and has been done since the early days of the public web over 25 years ago.

If you are told you’ve won a valuable prize in a competition you haven’t entered and to receive it you have either to pay or give your bank account details, then you are being scammed whatever the method of attracting your attention.

Yet the gullible still fall for it and go whining back to their bank to be reimbursed for their own greed and stupidity., expecting the rest of us to pay for it.

I would also not fall for these kind of scams, but I feel putting all of the blame on the victims is a bit harsh. These are professional criminals after all. Part of the problem is that criminals seem to be able to get away with more in online crime.

People need to be better educated and criminals more efficiently prosecuted, in my opinion.


It’s easy to be misled about a website.

But scams saying one has won a prize in a competition that one hasn’t entered have been around since before the web.

I’m sorry, but the operators of these scams may be professional criminals but people who give their bank details in order to get a prize in a competition they haven’t entered deserve to be blamed, IMO.

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I seem to remember reading something a while ago about internet scams - they can seem laughable (e.g the ‘you’ve won the lottery’, ‘I’m an overseas prince that needs to transfer money to you’) and are often riddled with typos as well, making them even less believable… but apparently that’s the whole point. They make them deliberately poor so that only the most vulnerable/naive people will fall for them. Easy marks, unlikely to realise they’ve even been scammed or to have a support network to make sure they don’t fall prey to these things. Which makes them even more immoral, obviously!

I haven’t seen one in a wine setting before - thanks for sharing @peterm!


It’s very tough for us overseas princes who want to give our money away, but at least I now understand the problem!


It’s a curious one how some folk sadly fall for these things; the same folk very probably wouldn’t dream of giving their bank details to a stranger on the street.

Having worked closely with trading standards and the police, I would say don’t underestimate the vulnerability (rather than stupidity, which is less generous) of a large section of society who are parted from their money.

That said, I wouldn’t think Instagram scammers are targeting the most vulnerable (technologically and age wise), simply due to the demographics of the user base.

No sympathy is held for the stupid rich who are so easily parted from not particularly hard earned money (see Rudy Kurniawan). There seem to be Americans on reddit with bottomless pockets and highly dubious bottles and methods for acquiring said bottles of four figure wine. No sympathy there either. I find the up voting frenzy and no question of the provenance - seller and cellar conditions and pristine labels, amusing…


You might be amazed at some of the people who fall for these frauds. I used to underwrite insurance against fraud for banks ( mostly committed by employees). We were once presented with a claim from a Swiss bank, where a manager had fallen for a Nigerian 419 fraud, and used his clients’ funds, to the tune of a few million Swiss Francs.


let’s go after the scammers, not the victims. As has been said above, these type of generalizations are very unhelpful when having to deal with vulnerable victims, regardless of the type of scam.


People may be vulnerable because they are preoccupied with something else (the recently bereaved seem to be particularly at risk). Someone (in this case) who has entered a competition, who is thinking of more important things, who is temporarily over-loaded with emails from unfamiliar addresses asking for a variety of types of information… The scammers can hope that at least a few of their random messages will be lucky.


Not everyone is as savvy about the internet as, I would imagine, most of us here are. My elderly mother (now living with me) rang me up one time saying she had been notified about this big lottery win and what should she do about it. Thank goodness she contacted me first! What makes it worse is that many elderly people (my mother included) seem to like to enter loads of postcode lotteries. Many of these are legitimate, if questionable morally, such as IFAW, Reader’s Digest etc. The problem is that if they enter enough of these ‘legitimate’ ones and then get an email telling them they’ve one something they just assume it’s one of the many (forgotten) lotteries they have entered. And that’s them on their way to be scammed.

It’s evil, obscenely immoral and I would get banned for elucidating here what I’d like to do to these people but so many of the victims are vulnerable/elderly people who really cannot, and should not, be blamed for being taken in.


I personally think we ought to blame people who have their cars stolen for providing the thieves with a convenient getaway vehicle :smiley:

Of course, I’m being facetious, criminals can be very sophisticated in their criminality, and they are the ones I’d like to blame/prosecute/put out of business. There but for the grace of god for many of us (unwittingly) I suspect.

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Not necessarily a wine scam, but it also happens on Facebook where someone creates an account spoofing a real person, and then send friend invites to friends of the spoofed person. Once befriended I believe the scam happens via messaging

I fell for it to the extent that I accepted a spoof account’s invitation. I thought it was odd, but assumed my friend had closed her account and opened another or something - it did not seem to matter. But when my friend said her account had been hacked (it hadn’t actually) because false messages were coming from her acount (they weren’t), I figured out what was happening and unfriended the imposter.

First and foremost, I would suggest you always be careful who you befriend (or the equivalent on other SM platforms). But it is not easy to spot the spoof accounts, especially in they have already racked-up a few friends who you trust.


Agree 100%.

It is one of the most obscene crimes (not just SM scams, but also phone, email and snail-mail) and it’s scandalous how many people get away with it.


I agree with the first part - I object to the assumption that elderly people are per se more at risk of falling for scams just because of their age.

Elderly people have more life experience, have encountered scams their entire life, long before he word scam emigrated here from the USA. There have always been these despicable people, whether one calls them spivs, wide boys or confidence tricksters aka con men.

Technology make it easier to reach people and much much cheaper, but the moment one is asked to pay for a prize one has supposedly won then alarm bells should ring.

I speak as an elderly person. I hope everyone on this board will someday reach that status.

But I wonder at what age youngsters thinks people suddenly lose their scam sniffing nous. :slight_smile:


That’s fair enough; my comment is far too much of a generalisation (I’m no spring chicken myself!). What’s probably more fair is that a greater proportion of elderly people are less tech savvy and tend to be well out of their comfort zone on computers and this tends to make them vulnerable. I’m a volunteer ‘computer assistant’ in my community and try to give assistance where I can (difficult recently for obvious reasons) helping, mostly elderly, people do things like set up Zoom for example. Seems easy to you and me but many folk struggle. I seem to find the same people put unreasonable trust in anything that is in print and then seem to extend that trust to anything that’s online (my own mum is a case in point!).

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