Scammers are abusing Instagram’s protections against suicide, self-harm, and impersonation to purposefully target and ban Instagram accounts at will, with some people even advertising professionalized ban-as-a-service offerings so anyone can harass or censor others, according to screenshots, interviews, and other material reviewed by Motherboard. From the report: It appears that in some cases, the same scammers who offer ban-as-a-service also offer or are at least connected to services to restore accounts for users who were unfairly banned from Instagram, sometimes for thousands of dollars. “Me (and my friend’s) currently have the best ban service on-site/in the world,” one advertisement for a ban service on the underground forum OG Users reads. “We have been professionally banning since 2020 and have top-tier experience. We may not have the cheapest prices, but trust me you are getting what you are paying for.” War, the pseudonymous user offering the ban service, told Motherboard in a Telegram message that banning “is pretty much a full time job lol.” They claimed to have made over five-figures from selling Instagram bans in under a month. War charges $60 per ban, according to their listing. Another banner on a different underground forum offers the service for between 5 euros and 30 euros per account, depending on the number of followers. That listing advertised bans for accounts up to 5,000 followers, but claimed that higher follower accounts are also possible to ban. The first listing said it can impact accounts with up to 99,000 followers. War said they didn’t know why particular customers may use their service, but added “obviously individuals who have money to throw around.” Both listings say that a target account must have a human in the profile photo. In War’s case, they said they ban users by filing a fraudulent impersonation complaint to Instagram. For banned accounts, victims generally have to provide Instagram with several pieces of information such as their name, phone number, and linked email address […]. [P]reviously, once an account was banned, the owner could try to restore it themselves straight away. Recently, Instagram introduced a 24 hour buffer window where a user has to wait before trying to restore the account, they said. But it appears that in other cases some of the people offering restore services are connected to those banning the accounts in the first place. [S]ome victims receive a message offering account restoration immediately after being banned, and that in their own case, the two accounts that launched the ban attack and the one offering the restore service follow each other on Instagram. Read more of this story at Slashdot.