Instagram for Authors: What to do about fake accounts and follows

Instagram for Authors: What to do about fake accounts and follows

April 9, 2023

Argh, this has been so annoying lately. Suddenly, an author/writer you thought was already following you on Instagram…or you were following them…’follows’ you. Please don’t just automatically follow back – a number of authors and writers (from emerging through to big name) are being targeted by fake accounts. Help out your fellow author and keep the writing community safe by taking extra care to check if an author/writer instagram account is fake or legit.

What to look for:

  • You get an alert that you have a new follower. It may be from an author/writer you thought was already following you/you were following them. ie: you’re familiar with their name.
  • Do not automatically follow them back.
  • Check for a slightly different spelling in the user name/address (e.g. the addition of a letter/number or an underscore_, or perhaps an extra word or a missing word).
  • The account may have the same or similiar profile pic, but less posts/followers than you would expect of an established account.
  • Bad grammar (a giveaway on an author acct).

What to do about it to keep the writing community safe:

  • Don’t blindly follow people who ‘like/follow’ your account (because in addition to putting yourself at risk, then your other contacts will see you are following the fake account & that may lead them to think the account is legit too).
  • Do go to the author’s official website and check the link to their ACTUAL instagram account (and/or search on the author’s name in Instagram to find their official account – which will likely have more followers you recognise and a much longer history than the fake account/s).
  • Do notify the real author of the fake account & ask if they’d like you to also report the account (so it can be taken down sooner). 
  • Writer Jen Pritchard also recommends checking if the account’s posts were mostly created in the space of a day or two…that’s another give away that the account may be dodgy.

Anyone can be targeted by and with fake accounts (me too!), so be aware. Follow the above tips to help reduce the mess it can create for yourself and other authors and writers. Let’s keep the writing community a safe space. Here’s my official Instagram account just so you know the legitimate one! annafeatherstonewriter