Worried that someone might be trying to assume your identity on Instagram? Here’s what you can do to prevent it, both now and for the future. With big parts of our lives moving online, scammers have become a little more creative when it comes to gaining access to our information. One of the ways that scammers take advantage of people is to impersonate legitimate accounts on social media, such as Instagram.
By impersonating someone on Instagram, bad actors can easily catfish unsuspecting strangers, solicit money, or acquire information that they can use to guess passwords or access financial accounts. So, how do you identify and prevent someone from impersonating you on Instagram? Let’s find out.
How to Stop Someone Who Might Be Posing as You on Instagram
When it comes to Instagram, here are all the steps you need to take when you suspect that someone is impersonating you.
Confirm That the Instagram Account Is an Imposter
With billions of people in the world, it can be hard to tell if someone is truly impersonating you versus simply sharing the same name. To confirm if an account is impersonating you, have a quick glance at their profile and see if their profile picture, posts, stories, or reels mimic yours.
Then, ask trusted friends or family members to direct message the account and see if their intentions are truly to take your identity.
Make Your Instagram Account Private
Once you confirm that someone is truly trying to impersonate you, the next step is to prevent exposing yourself even more. While it can be impossible to tell how much of your information and content the imposter already has on hand, it’s best to reduce their access to your existing posts.
Until you, Instagram, or someone else resolves the threat, it is best to keep a low profile and avoid posting unnecessarily—potentially revealing any additional information about yourself—by reverting your account to private.
To go private on Instagram, go to your Instagram profile and, in the top-right corner, tap the three horizontal lines.
Next, tap Settings > Privacy. Then, toggle on the button next to Private Account. Bear in mind that some account types like creator accounts cannot be private. If you have a creator account, you must switch to a personal account to do this.
Report the Imposter to Instagram
After securing your Instagram account privacy, the next step is to report the imposter to Instagram. While there is no set timeline for Instagram’s response, it is best to report an imposter as soon as possible.
To achieve this, go to their profile and select the three dots icon. Then, tap Report > Report Account > It’s pretending to be someone else > Me. Lastly, select Submit Report to confirm.
Alternatively, if you are taking a break from Instagram, you can also file a report through this form.
To do this, select Someone created an account pretending to be me or a friend and choose Send. Afterwards, Instagram will request that you take a selfie and upload an official government photo ID. While there is no definite timeline, you can expect that Instagram will return the results of the investigation within a few days.