Hackers are always looking for new ways to access personal information. As the world changes and new technology arises, spammers, scammers, and hackers are doing their best to stay one step ahead of the game.
They'll do whatever they can to trick innocent people, even if it means creating fake Instagram accounts.
How can an Instagram account hack your personal information or scam you? These people will use fake accounts as a way to trick people into spending money or giving away personal information. You, however, can't be fooled because you know how to spot a fake account, right?
If you don't already know what red flags to look for, then you're going to find out right now. In this guide below, you'll learn all about the different signs of a fake Instagram account. When you know what to look for, you can stop hackers and scammers right in their tracks!
Continue reading to start protecting yourself.
Spam Comments and Messages
Fake Instagram accounts will sometimes leave spam comments on pictures. These comments will usually ask you to promote your picture on their page. They might give a link to another Instagram account or a link to a website.
In many situations, they'll claim to have multiple accounts with a large following, which temps people into wanting to promote with them. The account that leaves the comment will have a low following most times but will associate with other similar accounts with larger followings.
Sometimes the comments will ask you to be a brand ambassador but will show all these same characteristics. You'll also see these accounts leaving the same exact comments on other posts. Thankfully, Instagram is normally able to pick up on spam comments and will hide them or place them at the bottom of the comment list.
These same accounts will also send messages asking you to promote on their several account pages. They might also ask you to become an ambassador for their brand. These accounts will also normally have a low following and then associate with other similar pages with large followings, but don't be fooled by the number of followers.
Even if an account claims to send you free items to promote on your account, be wary and never give away personal or financial information.
Accounts Asking for Money
Never send money to anyone on Instagram who's asking you for it. Sure, there are many legitimate shops, stores, and other products and services on Instagram, but chances are they won't message you asking for money. Unfortunately, some scammers will pose as other legitimate stores on Instagram and then ask for money upfront while conducting business on WhatsApp or something similar.
To stay safe, always purchase from shops you know are legitimate, who don't ask you for money, and that use a secure payment method, such as PayPal. You can also check to see if a shop on Instagram is fake by looking at the comments and likes on their post. Can you find real people commenting on their posts asking normal customer questions?
Notification of Excessive Tagging
Have you received notifications for excessive tagging? Fake accounts will tag you in comments or posts to get your attention. If the comments on a post you're tagged in are unrelated to the content of the post, then this is a red flag.
If the account is tagging you in multiple comments that all say the same thing, then this is another sign of a fake account. One simple fix is to make your profile private so no other pages can tag you in anything. If you're feeling harassed by the same account excessively tagging you in posts, then never hesitate to report the account.
Any time you believe you stumble across a fake account, it's best to report it to Instagram.
Celebrities Without Verification
Many scammers and hackers will create fake accounts and pose as real celebrities. If you search for a celebrity on Instagram, then you'll most likely find several accounts all using their name. The real account will most likely have a blue verified checkmark to confirm it's them.
Not all celebrities will have a verified account, however. Another way to spot the fake ones is to look for small errors or typos in the handle. These types of accounts will also start following a real celebrity's followers to try to build a following.
If you're already following a celebrity and then they add you from another page, chances are it's fake and not them.
Multiple Pictures Posted on the Same Day
When scammers create fake accounts, they'll normally try to make the account look real as quickly as they can. In order to do this, they'll post multiple photos on the same day or within just a few days or so. Real accounts won't typically post many pictures all at once.
This could be a sign that someone's trying to trick people into thinking their account is real. A good day to determine this is to check the time and dates of each post. Were they all posted within a short amount of time?
Do the posts have no captions or spammy content as the captions? These are all signs of an account trying to quickly come across as a real one.
Their Post Count Is Low
Fake accounts will normally have a lost post count as well. This is because Instagram is usually able to spot fake accounts and delete them before they're up for too long. For this reason, many fake accounts will only have a few posts because they've only been active for a few days or so.
A fairly new account is another warning sign. Most fake accounts are new because as stated before, Instagram is quick to delete any suspicious accounts. For this reason, scammers will have to make new accounts on a regular basis to try to scam people before Instagram catches up to them.
Some fake accounts can trick people into thinking they're legitimate by having lots of followers. If you're suspicious about an account even though it has a lot of followers, there's one way to check its authenticity.
Click on the followers to view who's following the page. Are the followers real accounts or fake accounts themselves? If the majority of the followers are all new accounts will little to no posts and few followers, then these could be fake followers.
An account with fake followers is most likely a fake account themselves, or they paid to have followers, which is also a red flag.
Hits After Running an Image Search
If you believe an account is using pictures of someone else to create a fake account, then you can run a reverse image search on the photos to see if they're found anywhere else on the web.
A hit on a picture is an indication that the account stole pictures from someone else's Instagram page or other social media page to use on their own.
In this case, you can always let the real person know and then report the fake account.
A Large Amount of Following With Low Activity
Fake accounts with large followings will have low activity or engagement. Have you ever stumbled across a page with thousands of followers but only a few Instagram likes on their photos? This is because the followers on their page are bought and fake.
These accounts normally go from having no followers to having thousands of followers within a matter of hours.
Fake followers won't engage with content, so an account with 20k followers and only 40 likes or so on the pictures is a sign of a fake account. You'll also want to be on the lookout for real vs. fake Instagram likes. Some accounts will pay for fake likes on their photos as well.
Always take a look at these things when inspecting an account.
No Profile Picture
Although there are some real accounts with no profile pictures, an account without a profile picture should be a red flag. It might not automatically mean the account is fake, but it should prompt you to take a further look into it. Be sure to check the bio.
What does the bio say? Does it seem spammy? Is there a bio at all?
Accounts with no bios and no profile pictures raise a red flag.
Don't Let Fake Instagram Accounts Fool You
Don't be fooled by fake Instagram accounts anymore! Use the helpful tips and information listed above to help you become a professional at spotting fake accounts. Unfortunately, there's no way for you to stop fake accounts from being made, but you can prevent them from scamming you and your loved ones.
For other tech topics, visit here frequently.