How to Respond to Fake Accounts & Hackers on Instagram
Fake accounts following you on Instagram: Ignore them. Spam account and bots will eventually get removed. You can report them as spam, but move on and don’t worry that they followed.
If your account is hacked on Instagram: As long as you can keep accessing your account, get into the account and change your password right away! Change the password of your Facebook and Twitter if your accounts were linked or any other 3rd party app. You should also report to Instagram that your account was hacked. If you’ve been so hacked it’s not recoverable, it’s probably time to start over.
- If you focus a lot of time and energy on your Instagram and you’re concerned about hacking, download a copy of your Instagram data. You also want to change your strategy if you are running your business from a social platform. Read more about that here.
- Revoke 3rd party apps: I just checked all the apps that had access to my Instagram and the Urban Outfitters app had permission! (I had deleted the app from my phone ago). There were a handful of other apps that I didn’t recognize as well.
- You’ve heard this time and time again, change your password. Last Pass is a good password manager to generate tricky passwords that prevent hacking.
Instagram Posts You’re tagged in (but have nothing to do with and don’t know the person): Flag or report the account as spam to let Instagram know and hopefully get them removed.
Creeps in your DM: When someone I don’t know reaches out and starts with something nice like a “hi,” it warrants one opportunity to see if they are interested in buying art, networking, or something along the professional art lines. Not all people who randomly DM you are creeps.
- IF the response indicates something other than art or business-related transaction, then it’s time to either block or report depending on the level of uncomfortableness they approach you with.
- Be careful with this – don’t provoke and don’t engage longer than necessary. I’ve seen creeps try to friend a bunch of account I followed to seem legit and pose as an acquaintance.
Instagram Pitches in your Email Inbox: Lately, I’ve had an influx of sales pitches from social media companies who want to ‘help me’ with my Instagram account. Oftentimes, these companies can help get more followers and likes, but these new followers will probably be fake accounts created by this company. Ignore the emails if you wish to continue to build your audience authentically. Organic growth is slow but important!
Prices and Kings from Another Country: If you have royalty reach out to you through your Instagram, you can guarantee it’s fake. Don’t even listen to the opportunities to work and travel.
OOTD: Are we sick of these yet?… (because I sure am)! OOTD are ‘outfits of the day’ accounts, meaning fashion blogs. They constantly reach out and want to ‘feature you’ on their page. Meaning they will post whatever you want (fashion-related or not) for a certain fee. Most of the time they ask you to pay and the amount equals how long they are willing to keep it live and visible on their Instagram. They will post numerous photos each day from people willing to pay because they care about making money.
Surprise Boosts: Did a photo you post suddenly get a ton of likes out of nowhere? Or how about your image now has tons of comments from people you don’t recognize but the comments all seem the same. This is a social media company doing this “service” for free.
Look in your email inbox in the next day or two. A company will admit that it was them giving you a free sample of the work they can do to help you grow your account. This is another costly service and offer to ignore.