Scammers promise to get anyone banned from Instagram for $60—or restored for thousands

Instagram will ban accounts on demand, reports Vice, so long as you are willing to lie. Scammers charge $60 for the "censorship" service, which depends on the company's hair-trigger reaction to claims that someone posted references to self-harm or abuse. The scammer then sells account restoration to the victim for much higher prices—thousands of dollars—though it's not so clear how they accomplish this.

After being the target of a ban attack, a victim may be contacted by someone offering to restore their account, according to multiple screenshots provided by flanvel. "Basically it's 3500-4k to restore. 1500 refundable deposit to start," one person allegedly offering restore services wrote in a message to a victim, according to one of the screenshots … influencer victims have resorted to paying experts to navigate the process for them (after that and other coverage, Instagram made changes to its recovery process).

Vice doesn't quite go there, but the implication is that Instagram's account recovery process has a corruption problem. Because so many accounts get banned inappropriately, the overwhelming need to unban them means it is difficult (or expensive) to monitor restorations, so they don't.