How to Tell If Someone Has Fake Instagram Followers

In the last post, we talked about how to grow and manage Instagram account followers. Today we will show you how to tell if someone has fake Instagram followers.

There are many ways to check if the followers of an Instagram profile are real or not. 

At first glance, the most effective tell is to look at the number of followers and compare it with the volume of posts and the engagement they have.

Many users have their different ways of checking the level of engagement of an Instagram account, but the truth is that if at first calculation we discover that an account has many followers and little engagement, it simply tells that many have been bought.

When you recognize the followers of an Instagram account, check carefully their photos. If you see it is flooded with the default image when you create an Instagram account, this should tell you that they are not real. 

Many people that buy followers think the followers are real, including a name, picture, and bio. However, they do not let you choose your target audience. 

For this reason, people are prompted to ask questions like: why are there thousands of Canadian users following the profile of a Coffee Shop in the UK? Why are there so many Chinese names following a Taxi company in America? It is not because the business really has such a funny target, but all these tell you that the profile has fake followers.

How to Tell If Someone Has Fake Followers On Instagram

Follow the steps below to tell if someone has fake followers:

1. Check the Followers of the Account 

The first thing you have to do to find someone who has fake followers is to open Instagram and sign in to your account. Then you have to tap on the profile icon at the bottom right corner of the screen, in the menu bar.

Once you are in the profile section, go to the follower’s section by tapping on the “Followers” option. Here you will see a list of usernames of people who follow the account. Select an account and go to their followers’ list.

2. Look at Some Details of the Account

Check all these to confirm if it fake or real:

Profile Picture

A straightforward way to know whether an account is real or fake is to check its profile photo. Real users would generally use photos of themselves or their pets or even group photos as their profile pictures.

While on the other hand, fake accounts won’t have photos of real people for obvious reasons. Instead, they use photos of popular celebrities and unknown people and photos downloaded online as their profile pictures. Sometimes they don’t have an empty profile

Therefore if you have found an account with a profile photo downloaded from Google, it tells you that the account is fake.

Posts on the Account

When you see an account that makes you suspect whether or not it is fake, you may open the account and check for posts and videos. If the account is fake, there will not be many posts on the account.

This is because this account is not being used to maintain a social media presence or be seen. Nevertheless, sometimes when an account is new, there are no posts. 

Confusing Username

In most cases, fake profiles have usernames that do not make any meaning. This means that they are not real names of people or even meaningful words. They consist of many characters and numbers arranged randomly to the point that the username does not form any words when read.

If you find a username with confusing characters, you have to know that it is a fake account.

From these red flags we mentioned above, you might decide whether the account you are seeing is fake or not. The sign of the profile picture, user engagement, and no bio gives you great insight. But all of them together or even two together give a decisive idea.

This means that if you see an account with a meaningless username, no bio, and no content to show, it is most definitely a fake follower.

5 Ways to Spot Someone Who Has Fake Instagram Followers

1. No Biography

An empty Instagram bio is one of the ways to know that the profile you are looking at has fake followers who are probably bought. 

Instagram account with zero followers

The bio is a great way of informing your followers (or potential followers) who you are and what you’re about. Leaving this empty is typically a sign of not only laziness but a tell-tale sign the profile is almost certainly fake.

2. Confusing Usernames

Confusing Username

This is very simple. There are multiple things to check in an account username. The first is if you see the profile URL as something like “” but when you check the profile, the first and last name listed above the bio has no relation to the account link.

For example, it would say something like “James Peter” which obviously has no direct relation to “martin Griths” which is in the link.

The other pointer regarding usernames and username combinations is if you see a confusing link like “”. Viewing this link you will see that while this profile has many signs it is fake, the first and last name listed in the profile has no direct relation to the URL.

While not all profiles will have a direct relation, most of the time if the URL does not even contain Instagram acceptable words or phrases, it is a common sign the profile was automatically generated via tools and not a real human. 

3. No Engagement With Others

Instagram account with no engagement

Instagram accounts that show no signs of engagement with others are often fake accounts. Instagram is meant to be a two-way conversation. Those accounts that simply do not interact with others are often a sign that they are fake.

The easiest way to tell if there is engagement with other users is to simply view recent posts by the user. If you can see that within their last 100 posts including a birthday post and there are no likes or comments, it is likely the account you are looking at is a bot.

4. Check the Account’s Posts

Once you are under a post of the user you suspect, go through the comments under the post. You may notice that the comments are from weird usernames that don’t seem acceptable, and at the same time, the comments are very unrelated to the post.

The comments may also be very generic and, at the same time, use the same emojis and repeat the same comment repeatedly. This indicates that the user has purchased followers to increase account activity.

5. They are Followed By a User buying Accounts

Instagram Account Buyer Profile

Look through their followers to see if they are followed by any user buying accounts. This definitely shows that they have bought fake followers. 

Finally, it’s difficult to tell if someone has fake Instagram followers, assuming that you didn’t actively promote your account. Due to the nature of the app, many common red flags are harder to identify. Despite this, it still makes sense for you to audit your followers. 

Similarly, if someone comes to you that he can promote your product and has previously engaged in shady activities, you will want to check if followers are real humans or bots.

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