Gone are the days when there used to be genuine social media accounts all around. Today, fake Instagram accounts have become insanely common. Every 1 in 10 accounts that you come across will be fake. Thus, it is quite likely that the new person who just commented on your post is among those staggering 95 million fake accounts. However, it is also quite possible that they are genuine. So should you block the person or respond to whatever they have said?
If you respond to their comment, they may reply with something weird, like promoting another user or business. If you don’t respond, they may continue spamming your chat box or comments section till you act. So how to tell if an Instagram account is fake without much hassle?
Why Spot and Remove Fake Instagram IDs?
You might be wondering, however, what does it matter if a fake IG account is engaging with your posts and following? Won’t it simply increase your follower count and boost your presence on the website? The thing is, it will be a temporary and negligible boost at best. In the long run, fake accounts may even hurt your social standing on Instagram. Here’s how.
If you are an IG regular, then you probably know about the engagement rate of an account. It is the ratio of the number of likes received on a post to the number of followers on your account. For instance, 200 likes out of 4000 followers imply a 5% engagement rate, which is quite good according to experts. But if most of your followers are fake accounts, they won’t engage with your posts, thus reducing your engagement rate.
Additionally, Instagram isn’t a fan of fake accounts in its database. Try Instagram to report fake accounts and see how quickly it gets deleted if it is indeed fake! And since many fake accounts are followed by other fake accounts, usually created by the same individual, it is quite likely that your account will be deleted too if most of your followers are fake, even if you had no hand in creating those.
How to Spot Fake Instagram DMs and Comments?
Now you know why it is critical to determine fake accounts in your profile if you are serious about Instagramming. However, it’s not easy to identify if a user’s comment on your post or a DM is fake, especially if you are not willing to conduct some research. You cannot simply look at one comment and say without a doubt that it is a fake account. You will need to visit that account and analyze every aspect before declaring it fake. Here are a few factors that you need to consider.
Check their “Followers” to “Following” Ratio
It is one of the simplest ways of determining a fake Insta profile. An individual with a fake account will try to follow as many users as possible in the hopes that they may follow back. However, only a few genuine users tend to follow back unknown accounts. Hence, their “followers” to “following” ratio will be pretty skewed, with an incredibly high number of the latter. Thus, you can check fake followers on Instagram with the help of this simple trick.
Generic Username and Display Pic
Are they sporting a pretty simple, server-assigned username, something like “@jane12538739…”? Have they uploaded a stock photo or no photo at all? Is their bio section completely blank? Then, it is highly probable that it is a fake profile.
Check their Posts
Fake accounts usually have no posts at all. And if they do, then they may have back-to-back posts uploaded at the time of creating the account and not a single update after that. Furthermore, even if their profile features regular posts, then there is a high possibility that it’s a fake account if all their updates are promotional.
Work out their Engagement Rate
The engagement rate is essentially the best way to gauge the authenticity of an Instagram account. A dismally low engagement rate, more often than not, implies that it’s a fake profile. Say that they have over 2000 followers, but they tend to get only 2-10 likes per post with barely any comments. You can be 99% sure that it is a fake account!
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How to Find out Who Made a Fake Instagram Account?
If it is that complicated to spot a fake Instagram profile, then you must be wondering if it would be impossible to find out who made that profile. You can never be more wrong! It is relatively easier to determine the owner of a fake Instagram account, especially if you know or once knew the person.
For example, suppose that some unknown account is peeking at all your stories without following you. You check out their profile only to stare at some vague information, the likes of which you find on a fake account. Alternatively, it may mirror your own profile, and you may wonder, “Someone created a fake Instagram of me!” It could be your ex-partner stalking you to harass you. Here’s how to find out that shady someone is operating the fake account.
- Open the profile of your stalker and make a note of their username.
- Head back to your profile page and tap your username.
- Select the “Add account” option from the popup.
- Type in your stalker’s username and click the “Forgotten password?” link.
- Enter the username again and hit “Next.” It will show that they have sent a link to change your password to the associated email ID or phone number. That number or email, or at least a part of it, will be displayed on the page.
- Search your contacts for the visible characters and find the person who owns the fake Instagram account!
How to Tell if an Instagram Account Is Fake?
To be honest, you can never be perfectly certain whether or not some Instagram account is fake. Even if their “followers” to “following” ratio is low, they have a generic profile, infinitesimally low engagement rate, and zero posts, it is quite probable that the account is used by a genuine person.
Apart from manually researching the account, you may also use a fake Instagram account checker tools that automatically assesses your followers and removes the fake ones. However, authentic tools like these are hard to come by. Yes, there are fake tools for checking fake accounts too out there! However, they are probably scams or viruses, so only use one if you trust it.
Why Do Bots Follow Me on Instagram?
Bots are essentially fake accounts, many of which may be machine-generated. They tend to follow any non-private account they come across. Thus, if you get more bot followers than genuine profiles, it’s high time you made your account private. Here’s how you can go about doing that.
- Go to your profile page by tapping the relevant icon in the bottom right corner.
- At the top right, you will notice three parallel lines. Click those.
- Tap the “Settings” button.
- A host of options will turn up. Locate the “Privacy” button and tap it.
- Right at the top, you will notice the “Private Account” option turned off. Turn it on by tapping it.
Please note that only personal Instagram profiles can set their account to private, whereas business accounts cannot do so. Another reason bots may follow you is if you have purchased Instagram followers to boost your profile. It is against Instagram’s policies to do so, and it also doesn’t help you one bit. That is because most of those purchased followers will be bots or fake accounts.
We’ll let you in on a trade secret at this point. Imagine that you are a poet, updating your profile with beautiful poems on a regular basis. Another poet starts following you after some time and has a few equally spectacular posts of their own. Won’t you feel obliged to follow them back? But what if they unfollow you after you start following them?
What most fake Instagram accounts do in order to appear genuine? They follow as many people as possible, eventually reaching the follow limit of 7500. Out of those, say, around 10% feel obliged to follow them back, which amounts to 750 mostly genuine followers. Then, the fake account’s owner unfollows everyone except a few hundred, thus making themselves look like an authentic account!
Fake Instagram profiles are like weeds growing in lush, prosperous farmland. They are unavoidable, but you can spot and remove them whenever possible. Now that you know how to tell if an Instagram account is fake, don’t hesitate to report it to the support staff soon after detecting it. Help make Instagram a safer, more genuine social community for the old and young alike.