How to Spot a Fake Instagram Account

How to Spot a Fake Instagram Account

When you post an image on Instagram, you might notice that you receive a lot of likes, comments and even follows from people you do not know. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps they just like your content. But, there can be times when these are fake Instagram accounts. While this is not something you always have to worry about, it can be good to know how to spot one. Let’s take a look at how you can discover a fake Instagram account and the things that you should look out for.

There is No Profile Photo

When you look at someone’s account, is there just the blue background with the white outline of a person? This is the generic image that shows up if someone has not assigned a profile photo to their account. While this can be just be a sign that someone has a new account and they have not uploaded one yet, it can also be a sign that you have found a fake account. People simply make them and do not bother to add these details. So, if there is no profile photo, this could be a sign of a fake user.

There are No Followers

Always make sure that you visit a profile to see if it is fake or not. Then, you want to look at the number of followers they have. If you discover that they have a few posts and are following a few accounts, but they have no followers, this could be fake. Normally, accounts will have at least a few people that follow them even if this is a small number. But, if there is none and things look suspicious this could be a fake account or one that was created by bots in order to promote certain links. Just make sure that you do not use any of these links if they are posted in the bio.

How to Spot a Fake Instagram Account

There are No Posts Yet

Some people are more active on Instagram than others. There are some that will post a new image every day. Others will only post content every other month or when there is a special occasion. But, one thing’s for sure, if you visit a profile and there are no posts yet, as well as little other information, it is like that this is a spam or fake account. If you discover that a profile is private and you have to add them as a friend, you are still able to check the number of posts they have. Again, if it is a low number or none at all, stay away from this profile.

They Comment for a Follow Back

When there is a fake Instagram account, they often want something from you. This is likely to click on a link or it can be to follow them back. You will notice that they leave comments on your posts and ask for a follow back. The best thing you can do is ignore these comments. Check out their profile and see if it looks legitimate. Indeed, there are people out there that want to have a lot of followers and they will ask other accounts to follow them and view their content. But, if it is a generic comment, as well as there being other signs from this list, it is best to stay away.

There is a High Following Number

We have already mentioned that a fake account is likely to have no followers. But, something interesting to note is that they can have a high following number. In other words, the account might follow a lot of different accounts and this could be a huge number, such as in the hundreds or even thousands. Again, when this is accompanied by no profile photo and none of their own images, this is going to be suspicious. If you were thinking about following them, you might be wasting your time.

There are Impersonating Images

Do you recognize some of the images the account is using? For example, this could be photos of a celebrity or influencer that you know but they are not verified. If you suspect that an account is impersonating someone else, this is definitely going to be fake. There are some fan accounts out there and they like to post images of their favorite people. But, if the person is trying to act as if they are the person, this is a red flag when it comes to fake accounts.

There Are Links in Their Bio

One of the few places you can post a clickable link on Instagram is in the bio. Indeed, people take advantage of this and link their website or other social media profiles here. This is not a crime. But, if you think you have stumbled across a fake social media account that has few images and no followers, but has links in their bio, you might be right. The account may be being used to simply get people to click on a link. Just make sure that you do not do this as it could be dangerous.

To Summarize

Unfortunately, there are people out there that create a lot of fake Instagram accounts. This could be for many reasons. It could be used to follow and stalk certain people or it could be because that user has bought followers. Either way, they are not real accounts and there are ways you can spot them on the social media platform.

Namely, most fake followers are not going to have a profile photo. This is going to be obvious without having to visit their profile. Some other signs to look out for is that they have no followers. They might follow a lot of people but they do not post anything either. Again, this is going to be a red flag. They could even have impersonating images pretending to be someone else or there are a lot of links in their bio to click on.

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About the author



Tom is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and 2 cats. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on phones, tablets, wearables and more. You won’t see Tom anywhere without his ANC headphones and the latest smartphone. Oh, and he happens to be an Android guy, who also has a deep appreciation for iOS.