Oh friends. I have a wee vent. I’d like to have a lot of words with whoever came up with those “clever” clones of Instagram accounts that show up in the Messenger app with people’s names and photos and say brilliant stuff like, “Hello hope you are doing?” (today’s) or “Hello, how are you doing today?” All these things do are waste the time of the cloned person, because they have to repeatedly let people know that no, it’s not them, it’s some bot.
No, that is not me at right (or below, if you’re reading on the phone). Do you need to check with me to be sure? Nope, not at all. Just look at it.
- Is that how my name normally looks? Nope.
- Is it from a Facebook account? Nope. (I only message from there.)
- Does it have any posts or followers? Nope. (My actual Instagram has my name spelled normally and has a bunch of posts and followers.)
- Does it say “New Instagram account?” Yep.
If the answers you get match these answers, then you don’t need to let me (or whoever has “messaged” you) know about it. There’s nothing they can do.
What you can do is block and report the account.
See this message I got back in July from “Anne Hutten?” I knew it wasn’t from her. Name spelled wrong, 0 posts and 0 followers, new Instagram account, and the typical message. I looked at the bottom of the screen. I clicked Block. If I had clicked Report, I would have told them that she was pretending to be Anne and answered a few questions. The message would have disappeared. I was just lazy and didn’t do it, which is good, so I can show you the example.
How can you prevent this?
You can’t, sad to say. These bots just go grab people’s pictures and mess with their names to make a fake account. I’m not even sure what they do if you respond. I could only find endless sets of instructions to report and block the accounts.
I’m to the point where it takes me a few seconds to block and report, then go on my merry way. When I get cloned, I end up spending a lot of time saying that’s not me and giving instructions to people who are trying to help me out by letting me know something I can’t do anything about.
I guess enough people fall for these things and let the cloned account ask for money that it makes it worthwhile for them. That means they’ll keep cloning. So, let’s not panic, just go on with our lives.
Now, if someone hacks your account, it’s a different story. That’s when someone takes your legit account over. That is something you need to report to Facebook, Instagram, or whoever, and work with them to take care of the problem.
To find out if there are extra people pretending to be you, by the way, you can simply search Facebook or Instagram and see if there are “fake you” people out there. (Don’t report actual people with the same name as you – it’s a big world out there!)
OK, hope that helped. Here’s a quiz. Review the images below and see if you think they are fake or real.
Oh yes, I wanted to assure you that I do have an Instagram account that’s legit. Some people even look at it! I have no urge to be an Influencer of Insta-famous, so I am perfectly happy with my numbers.