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Lori Greiner is moderating the Brand Intelligence Summit Register now

Lori Greiner is moderating the Brand Intelligence Summit Register now

Brand Protection
5 mins

How to report an impersonation account on Instagram

How to report an impersonation account on Instagram
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Instagram has changed the face of social media and online marketing. It is the go-to platform for people who want to work with influencers, check reviews, and enjoy the latest scoop on products. The platform currently houses more than one billion users including several business accounts. However, despite Instagram’s tremendous work to prevent bad actors from misusing the platform, reports suggest that around 10 percent of all Instagram accounts could potentially be fake.

People open fake accounts for a variety of reasons including:

Impersonification means pretending to be someone you are not. While it is common for people to use pictures of known names or celebs, these days, individuals also copy brands or pretend to be associated with companies. It takes so little for people to imitate a brand, but the impact of fake accounts and products on brands can be severe.

Whatever the reason, as a business and an individual, it is important that you find and get fake accounts blocked.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to report an impersonation account on Instagram:

How to find out if someone is impersonating me on Instagram

Impersonating someone is the same as stealing someone’s identity. People may use your name, your photos, or your brand images to pass as you to the eyes or your friends or to your customers. This is more common than you’d think.

The easiest way to find fake accounts is to search for your name or your brand’s name on the platform. The website or app will show you all the accounts using your name. 

Remember that just because someone has the same name as you doesn’t mean the person is impersonating you. Pay attention to other factors such as photos and where they claim to work. 

It is common for offenders to block the real person or use variations of their name, so make sure to try different spellings and search for your account using a friend’s account.

find-imposters-by-hashtags

Another way to find fake accounts is to look for hashtags. This works well for brands. However, the process can be time consuming since branded hashtags are not only used by impersonators but also by genuine third-party sellers and consumers. 

Lastly, you can use the reverse image search feature to find if someone has uploaded your photos or photos of your brand/product on Instagram. Once again, this is a time-consuming method.

If you want to save time then it is best to use a tool like Red Points that can scan through hundreds of pages and profiles and provide reliable results in no time. It removes the need to perform manual searches and allows you to identify and report fake pages in no time.

How to report an impersonation account on Instagram (step by step)

If it’s an individual account

Reporting an impersonation account on Instagram might sound like a complicated process but it is quite easy and straightforward. It will only take you a few minutes to report fake accounts, but before you start make sure to have all the available information including the name and ID of the fake account and your details.

Here’s how to how to report an impersonation account on Instagram:

  • Open the profile that’s impersonating you and click the three dots (…) you see next to the person’s account name.
Instagram-account-options
  • Click Report User 
report-a-user-on-instagram
  • Choose Report Account
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  • Choose the third option – It’s Pretending to be Someone Else
reasons-to-report-an-account-on-instagram
  • Now, you will be given the option to choose who the person or account is impersonating. Available options include: ‘Me’, ‘Someone I Know’, ‘A Celebrity or Public Figure’, or ‘A Business or Organization’.
who-is-this-account-pretending-to-be-on-instagram
  • Choose the right option to proceed to the next page. This is very important because the next step will depend on what you have selected. For example, if you report on someone else’s behalf, the page may ask you to ask the person to submit a report by using a different method if they do not have their own Instagram account. 
  • Those who do not have an Instagram account or those who are blocked by the impersonator can use this form to submit reports.
file-a-duplicate-account-complaint-on-instagram
  • Submit the details and the company will look into it. 
  • If you already have an established Instagram profile then the imposter’s profile may get deleted in a few days. However, in some cases, Instagram may ask you to provide further details including your name and a picture with your identity card to prove that you own the name.
verify-your-identity-on-instagram
  • The name on your ID must match the name on your profile. If it doesn’t then it is important that you edit your profile and then upload the picture.
  • Instagram usually replies within 24-48 hours via email. 

If it’s a business page

Getting a fake profile is easy for as long as you have the required documents; however, the method for business pages is slightly different. You will have to provide documents to prove that your intellectual right is being compromised.

The company needs applicants to submit registration certificates or other such documents that prove ownership of the name that’s being used by the imposter. 

Once you submit these documents only then you will be able to get the fake account removed. But, remember to be sure someone’s pretending to be you before you file a complaint as filing false complaints may result in your account getting blocked. 

How to find out who made a fake Instagram account

This can be a little difficult because Instagram does not reveal the identity of the imposter. They will also not give you access to the other account, hence you will have to try other tricks to know who is behind your fake IG account.

There are two reliable ways to find out:

  • Communicate with the person and ask for contact details that can be used to trace them. If they’re running a fake business page, you can ask them to deliver goods that may contain business addresses and other such details. 
  • Check if they have a URL in the bio. Open it and find the contact details on it. Sometimes, scammers direct visitors to a fake app or website to gather details or scam them. The information found on these apps or websites can help you find the real culprit.

Most people do not try to find the real person behind fake accounts and they’re satisfied when accounts get banned. However, you may have a right to take legal actions, especially if the impersonation attempt has caused you any kind of loss including financial and emotional trauma.

In order to find the person’s identity and file a legal complaint, you will need the support of an attorney. However, the process can be time-consuming and costly. Red Points on the other hand can help provide data needed to file an official complaint.

What’s next 

This is all you need to know about how to report an impersonation account on Instagram. However, if you are seeing people impersonating you on social media, beware that it won’t stop there. Fake social media profiles are usually a sign of phishing, people will be redirected to fake websites or fake apps where the real scam happens. This poses real harm to your (brand) reputation and to your consumers. 

Reporting one fake account is not as tedious, but as many Red Points’ customers point out, it’s usually a whack-a-mole game. We talked more about this in our post on removing fake pages on Facebook. If you still have questions then check our full guide on how to remove counterfeits on Instagram.
To save time and get control of your market presence, Red Points provides an automated solution where we keep your identity safe 24/7. To know how we do it, book a meeting with us and we will walk you through our impersonation removal platform.

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