How to Tell If An Instagram Account Is Fake

Instagram is pretty hot on fake accounts – quickly identifying and removing them from the app. While this can be…

Instagram is pretty hot on fake accounts – quickly identifying and removing them from the app. While this can be irritating if it affects your follower count, in the grand scheme of things fake accounts are likely to do more harm than good for your profile. Thus, identifying and getting rid of them is probably a good thing.

But how can you tell which profiles and accounts are real, and which are fake?

Here are some of the top giveaways than an account may be fake…

1. The Account Has No Profile Picture

The most obvious indicator of a fake account is the greyed out silhouette instead of a profile picture. While there are of course regular users who will choose to leave their profile picture blank, meaning this is not a 100% guarantee, a greyed out profile picture is usually an early indicator that something may be off.

2. The Account Will Always Leave The Same Comments, Word For Word

This one can be more difficult to spot straight away but may become clear over time. If an account consistently leaves the same generic comments on your posts, or you see the account posting the same comments on other posts as well as yours, then you can be fairly sure that they are coming from a fake profile.

3. The Follower and Following Count Is 0

Real account holders start Instagram in order to follow people and to interact with others. It therefore follows that having a 0 count for both Followers and Following on the app is quite suspicious.

Of course, give brand new account holders a chance to get their feet in the door and their head in the Instagram game – but be wary of accounts that interact with your posts yet have no genuine connections.

4. … Or Their Following Count Is Exceptionally High

Conversely, if an account has a super high ‘Following’ count then this is also something to be suspicious of. If you see a brand new account with hundreds or thousands of followers then, unless they are a high profile celebrity, they almost definitely brought those followers and so may be operating a fake account.

5. They Constantly Try To Advertise And Sell

Fake accounts are becoming increasingly hazardous in so far as they may try to scam you. The rise of social media is reflected in the rise of digital scams which are affecting consumers of all ages – with fake accounts guilty of trying to scam users out of money by selling fakes goods and services to them.

6. The Account Is Impersonating Another User

This is incredibly damaging to the account that is being impersonated, as it can lead to their reputation being impacted through scams as mentioned in the previous post. If you spot an account which is impersonating a genuine business, brand, or creator – or even a regular user – then you need to report that account as soon as possible.

All of these are common signs of an account which may be fake. If in doubt, the advice is to report the account and let Instagram take it from there.

If you are really worried about a fake account which is impersonating another user or running a scam, then it is recommended that you share your concerns via the app and encourage others to report it too. The more users report an individual profile, the higher the chance of Instagram taking swift action.

Finally, the best way to protect yourself from being followed or messaged by fake accounts is to make your profile private. This puts a screen between you and unknown or new followers, allowing you to check and approve them before they can access your content.