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How to spot a fake Instagram DM? 5 red flags to look for FAKE/REAL ACCOUNTS


With the rise of automated accounts and businesses that let you buy fake followers, there are a lot of fake Instagram influencers out there. This isn’t surprising to consider just how profitable being an influencer can be. So everyone wants to enjoy the benefits. But some do not want to put in the work to build an organic following. Just how many fake accounts are out there? And what if you end up working with an influencer who has tons of fake followers? How exactly can you identify fake comments? In this post, We will be discussing the topic of fake Instagram comments and how harmful they can be for brands. But most importantly, I will teach you how to identify them.


How to Identify Fake Instagram Comments or Avoid Them!

Now I’m going to get started with the most important part – how to identify fake Instagram comments. Implement the following tips in your comment vetting process if you want to execute a successful comment marketing campaign: (If you want to avoid 

#1: Look for Unusually Low Engagement Rates

One of the easiest ways to detect fake Instagram commenters is by checking their engagement to follower ratio. 

Instagram Engagement ratio


Most fake commenters will have thousands of followers but barely any likes. You should avoid commenters whose engagement rates are lower than 1% because there’s a good chance that they are fake. With DMpro you can avoid these bots to comment on your page.

#2: Analyze the Quality of Interactions


Some fake commenters will also buy likes on their posts, in addition to buying followers. In some cases, the bot followers they bought may be smarter than usual. And they will generate comments to appear more authentic. So this means that their account will have a decent engagement rate. And there’s a chance that fake Instagram commenters could still pass the first test.

Manually going through their post interactions is a great way to double-check their authenticity. The quality of those interactions will help you understand the quality of their followers. A lot of spammy and irrelevant comments would be a dead giveaway.

These bot comments tend to be generic, which means they can easily fit every kind of post. They could say stuff like “awesome,” “great shot,” “lovely pic,” etc. Or they could simply leave emoji comments that would apply to most pictures. But we found it easier to use the DMpro app.

In the following screenshot, you can see that the comments are pretty generic. These comments would be suitable for any post, which means there’s a good chance they’re coming from comment bots.

fake Instagram DM


You may also come across posts with completely irrelevant comments that are spam, such as the one in the screenshot below.

Fake Instagram DM

But every public Instagram account is susceptible to receiving such comments. So unless there’s an unusually high number of these spam comments, don’t be too alarmed. Your main concern should be an excessive amount of super generic comments that seem relevant enough but could still work on other posts too.

The same procedure applies for DMs as well, Fake bots may sned you irrelevant DMs with different content. There are some options on the market like DMpro which let you send DMs based on different criteria such as new/existing followers and lets you choose which niche to target on your DMs. You can read all about how it works here.

#3: Examine Their Follower Profiles

In most cases, you should be able to easily filter out fake Instagram commenters by the time you complete the second test. But if you’re still having a hard time figuring out whether those comments are coming from bot accounts, the next step you can take is to examine some of the profiles. This is a perfectly reasonable dilemma because you may not want to immediately discredit some accounts just for leaving emoji comments and generic comments. Some real accounts do leave a lot of emoji comments, but they will typically be relevant to the image or caption. But it’s hard to tell the difference every time. For example, in the following post, there are a lot of emoji comments.



Fake Instagram DM

But if you look closer, most of the emojis are black hearts and black flags. This is because she’s wearing an all-black outfit and she’s mentioned something about it in her caption. So these comments are not coming from bot accounts. To confirm the authenticity of the followers, you can go to the profiles of some of their followers. This may be a lengthy process, but you can simplify it by choosing to analyze the profiles of people who leave generic comments.

I’ve noticed that people don’t put in too much effort when they create fake accounts. They typically leave the bio blank or include only a few details. They will usually not have many posts, and sometimes they will have no posts at all. Some fake accounts may not even have a profile picture. And in most cases, they won’t have a lot of followers. So take note of all these factors and determine if a large portion of the comments are coming from accounts that fit any of these descriptions.

In this case, it’s highly likely that you’re dealing with fake Instagram influencers. Here’s a good example of an Instagram account that looks fake.

fake Instagram influencers

#4: Analyze Their Follower Growth Rate

Another easy way is by analyzing their follower growth rate. Fake commenters will usually have a sudden spike in followers at some point in time. The growth rate will then remain stagnant afterward since they’re not gaining any new followers organically

Take a look at the following growth chart of an account that likely bought some followers.

Instagram stats

There seems to be a sudden and drastic spike in followers within two days. But then the growth slightly drops soon after and then remains stagnant. The follower growth rate of this account looks highly unusual and suspicious.

There’s a good chance they bought followers because there’s no other logical explanation for that spike. Plus, there’s also the fact that the account gained a lot of followers on some days and lost tons of them on other days.

On the other hand, a real one will have a steady follower growth rate without any major spikes or drops in follower count. And if you look at the daily follower growth rate, you can see that the account is gradually gaining a handful of new followers every day.

#5: Analyze Their Audience Quality

You will need to use a tool to run an audience quality check for potential fake commenters. 

Instead, you can try the free IG Audit tool that’s built specifically to analyze the percentage of real followers on Instagram accounts.

You just need to enter the username of the account you want to analyze. It’s important to note that this tool will only work for public Instagram accounts.

If I run an analysis of the suspicious account I previously analyzed using InfluencerDB, it gives me the following results. As you can see, the tool has estimated that only 12.4% of the account’s followers are real.

This will give you insights into how much real impact your brand is making on Instagram and how you measure up against your competition.

Keep in mind that every Instagram account will have bot followers because of the prevalence of bot accounts. Most people may be unaware of this because these accounts don’t make up a large portion of their following. So you won’t have a 100% real followers estimate.

It’s when the number of real followers is suspiciously low that you should be wary. In this case, the tool will highlight the number in red as shown in the previous screenshot. That signifies that the account belongs to a fake one.

When a good portion is real, the tool will display the number in black as shown below.

fake Instagram influencers

Final Thoughts

I’ve thoroughly covered the topic of how to spot a fake Instagram DM? and provided you with several tricks to identify them. Use these tips in your comment vetting process for your next campaign. How to avoid fake DMs? You should start using the DMpro app. This app would make it easier to stop looking out for these procedures.



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