How to Spot Fake Instagram Accounts
From scammers to bots, here are five ways to sniff out fake Instagram accounts:
Inconsistent (Or Copied) Bio
Random Comments on Posts
Offers Money or Promotes a Product/Service
Follows A Lot of Accounts
Red Flag #1: Inconsistent (Or Copied) Bio
Fake Instagram accounts will often copy their bio from a real one — with a few changes and inconsistencies.
Pay attention to the characters in their username. There’s usually an extra letter, number, or symbol added to the bio — like this account that impersonated Mahdi Woodard:
In other cases, they may not have a bio at all:
TIP: Another telltale sign that an account is fake? If the bio relies heavily on emojis, hashtags, or sounds like a machine wrote it.
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Red Flag #2: Spammy DMs
Fake Instagram accounts will often slide into your DMs pretending to be a reputable brand.
They’ll send you a generic message, and will encourage you to either visit another website or DM someone else with your information:
These accounts typically offer sexual or explicit content, crypto schemes, cash sales, brand partnerships, or even retail scams in their bio:
TIP: When an account DMs you, look at its profile. Check how often the account is posting content (and if they reuse the same caption). A fake profile will often post all of its content at once — if it even has any.
Red Flag #3: Random Comments on Posts
If an account frequently leaves comments unrelated to the content of your post (or random emojis), they’re likely fake.
If you’re still unsure, click through to their profile and check the comments on their posts to see who’s engaging with the account.
Ask yourself if the comments on their posts seem authentic. Are they selling or promoting something? Are they repetitive or using all caps?
TIP: Check for comments that promise easy ways to pay off debt, use different fonts, or ask you to DM them.
Red Flag #4: Offers Money or Promotes a Product/Service
Fake Instagram accounts will often offer users the opportunity to make quick cash or win free products.
They’ll lure you in to get your personal information and then potentially hack you:
TIP: Sometimes, these accounts will pose as a reputable brand to gain your trust (especially if the brand is running a giveaway or contest). Double-check our tips before you engage with them.
Red Flag #5: Follows A Lot of Accounts
A fake Instagram account needs followers to seem legitimate.
And most will use the outdated #followforfollow method in an attempt to get people to follow them back.
If you come across an account that has a small number of followers but a large following, it’s likely fake:
TIP: Compare the number of accounts it’s following, the number of followers it has, and the number of posts its posted.