How to Check if Someone Bought Instagram Followers

A few years ago, a large number of followers on Instagram pointed to some kind of success and certain importance. Every second person tried to buy as many fakes as possible just to get a nice number in the graph “Followers”. At present, there are still people interested in that stuff, and there are still services ready to assist them in Instagram cheating.

It’s vital for marketers and influencer marketing managers to check opinion leaders for cheating prior to the start of the collaboration. There is a risk to get trapped in cheating and waste the marketing budget, as a result.

To prevent you from such sad consequences, we have compiled useful pieces of advice on how to check if someone bought Instagram followers. Forewarned is forearmed!

Why do people buy Instagram followers?

insta bots

Those people who strive for becoming influencers are the main fans of cheating.

They are tempted with an opportunity to earn money by means of social media as well as become reputable and famous. They don’t stop believing that a number of followers is one of the key indicators to show that an account is in demand. Actually, it’s a delusion.

However, nobody canceled the crowd effect. People “go” more actively to the accounts where there are many followers. They assume by default that there will be interesting and high-quality content or an abundance of lucrative offers. Based on this, aspiring bloggers abandon themselves to buying IG followers. This is the reason why cheating is still blooming.

There is another group of people: already recognized influencers who aspire to get 1M followers.

They either organize giveaways or buy fake Instagram followers to reach a goal. It’s like a cherry dream for them to get exactly 1M and not less. There are a lot of accounts with 1M followers but several thousand likes under the posts. It’s very foolish but I’m here not to judge.

To cut a long story short, some individuals simply satisfy their ambitions by buying followers. They are impressed by the fact that their account is popular, even if in fact this is not always the case. Honest or they are sometimes called “white” methods of promotion can take months. It’s easier and faster to artificially expand the audience and then enjoy an embellished number of followers.

How to detect fake followers on Instagram?

Fortunately, it’s not rocket science, therefore, everyone can easily detect fake followers on Instagram. Let’s figure out the types of fakes, first. There are several types of them, did you know?

  • Instagram bots are mainly empty accounts that subscribe to other accounts, like or leave comments set by tags. Bots are created by special tools and appear on Instagram automatically.
  • Fakes are different from bots, although they are also created automatically for advertising, spamming, and cheating. Hacked accounts of real people can be seized and used by fakes. The main difference between bots and fakes is that the latters’ accounts are filled with someone else’s (stolen) content.
  • Offers are real people who, for a certain reward, follow you or perform some targeted actions: likes, shares, comments. However, they will be active as long as you pay for their every action. This group includes members of Instagram pods.

We have written more about bots on Instagram in this article. Inviting you to take a look.

So, let’s see how to detect bots and ig fake followers. There are some red flags to look at.

  • Photo. Bots and fakes often don’t put any pictures on their avatars or just use photos of celebrities, cartoon characters, or something abstract.
  • Username. Basically, they look too spammy and artificial. It might be a meaningless jumble of letters or combinations of letters and numbers. In a word, a real person is unlikely to choose such a username for his account.
  • Mass character. Fake accounts are following lots of people and are followed by similar (artificial) accounts. Usually, the number of followers can be more than a thousand.
  • Lack of personal data. No content in Instagram Stories and feed, no information in BIO, no photos in “Tagged”.
  • A lot of reposts. To ensure that the page is not empty and does not look suspicious, fake accounts fill it with reposts very often.

Please note: it is not necessarily a fake account if there is a lack of information or no photos in it. Some users are on Instagram for the sake of curiosity and just browse other profiles. Therefore, they are not interested in producing content themselves and leave accounts empty. However, a large number of coincidences mentioned above is most likely to give warning of bots.

How to tell if someone bought Instagram followers?

I hope that the information from the first paragraph has significantly clarified who is who on Instagram. At this stage, you are almost ready to join the ranks of Insta police. We will move further and delve into more details to effortlessly find out the violators of Instagram Policy who have already bought Instagram followers. So, how to bring them out?


Depending on the followers’ number of the account under investigation, the manual check may take either a long or short time. The advantage of this method is that you will make sure with your own eyes whether a person resorts to cheating on Instagram or not. What should you do?

  1. Take a look at followers. Scroll down several times and check what kind of accounts predominate among followers. I agree, you will not get a representative result of your research but it’s a good idea to start with. You will not be able to check each follower. However, if flipping through, you come across a large number of shops, beauty salons, usernames with numbers, you have got on the trail of someone who has bought followers.
  2. Pay attention to how many accounts a person is following. The more, the worse. It’s not out of the question that he knows a lot of people but let’s be honest, nobody canceled mass following.
  3. What is going on in the comments? If you see standard phrases like “so beautiful”, “cool post”, or the abundance of emojis under the posts, this is cheating in its pure form.
  4. Check the dynamics of likes. Basically, the natural spread is 40-100%. If one post gets a thousand likes but another one did not even reach a hundred, someone is trying to trick his audience. There is a reverse situation: all posts have the same quantity of likes. It may point to the case when all posts are liked by fakes.
  5. Find a video in the account and see how many views and likes it has. As a rule, the number of video views is 2-3 times more than the number of likes. However, if there are thousands of views but 50 likes, this should alert you.


It will be easier and faster to perform fake Instagram followers check with the aid of specially designed tools. If you are not afraid of delegating and can trust in automatic tools, I recommend using them without delay.

trendHERO is your magic wand in this case. It’s an online service that will help you study in detail the target audience, analyze statistics, and the quality of content if any Instagram account. trendHERO uses machine learning for checking algorithms.

Keep in mind: when signing up, you get 1 check for free.

How to tell if someone buys followers (using trendHERO analytics)

  1. The chart “Audience type” can tell a lot about the account straight away. If the suspicious audience and mass followers predominate, it’s quite clear that this user uses or has used cheating:
    trendHERO audience
  2. ER is an indicator that helps to calculate the ratio of the number of followers to the active actions that they take in the account. When it is low (less than 1%), there are two variants: either this user has poor content or he sins buying bots.
  3. Pay attention to the graph that shows the dynamics of followers and following growth. There should not be sharp surges.
    follower/following growth trendHERO
    Look: on the left graph, the growth is going gradually. Meanwhile, on the right graph, you can see that a person began to unfollow at some moment for an unknown reason. Mass following or not?
  4. Don’t forget to analyze the audience’s interests. If these are real people, then their hobbies should correspond to the theme of the account.
    audience interests trendHERO
  5. Basically, up to 10% of followers are active likers. On average, this is 2-4%. Remember, too many likes are just as suspicious as too few. Using trendHERO you can consider likes spread. Again, if the numbers spring, I mean some posts get a lot of likes when others are completely unpopular, it might also be the evidence of cheating.
    likes spread trendHERO

trendHERO is a very powerful tool to help you reveal cheats. All you need to do is just to enter the Instagram username of the account and the service will collect and provide you all the data.

Is Instagram cleaning fake followers?

Oh, yes! According to the Instagram Policy, buying bots and other forms of cheating are assessed as a violation against the platform. The cheating of any indicators in social networks (subscribers, likes, comments, reposts) is recognized as a fraudulent way of promotion.

Instagram is actively blocking bots and fake followers as well as punishes those who resorted to them for dishonorable actions. It can shadowban, block, or even delete an account forever.


Checking Instagram followers for authenticity is an absorbing activity that requires attention to detail, patience, and analytical thinking. No matter whether you will do it manually or automatically, our pieces of advice will come in handy. Bots and fake accounts are true evil that does nothing but harm to Instagram accounts.

Now you know how to tell if someone bought instagram followers. Come to the good side, reveal cheaters, and help social media justice prevail!

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