Spam is everywhere!
Originally just known as unsolicited and unwanted email junk, now spam exists in new multiple forms. Sometimes it's in the guise of blog posts that are unreadable, or useless blog comments, full websites loaded with junk content and video memes out to lure you into some scam service or pop-up nightmare.
In recent years, the idea of spam has included attempts at social engagements that I've directly experienced on Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, and Instagram. I'm sure every social network has spam and fake accounts now.
Over the last few days, I've been flooded by Instagram accounts liking my photos and following me. I usually don't follow someone back without first evaluating their social account. In one instance, I had 20 new followers within a few minutes. It turned out that most of them were spam accounts trying to get my attention with a get-rich-quick scheme.
Here are two such examples:
The first example offers to click the link and make $549 in 66 minutes. The second offers $439.12 in 77 minutes. Both accounts only have a few photos of piles of cash and extravagant ways you can use that cash.
Even though both of these accounts have fewer than 10 posted photos, they both have a lot of followers, the first one has 350 followers and the second has 1291 followers.
There are two reasons why they have a lot of followers:
1. There's an Instagram account scheme where many of these accounts are following each other to give the appearance of legitimacy.
2. Many people are immediately following back without first evaluating the account just because someone followed them first. People just like to be mutual friends on media; this is called "follow for follow," and they're either being polite or are desperate for likes and comments on their own stuff.
Other than attracting these fake spam accounts as followers, I've also been flooded with comments on several photos saying things like "Hey, go to my page and click the link in my bio to make some cash."
There is something you can do to fight back when other Instagram accounts start spamming you like this. Here's an excerpt from Instagram's Terms:
11.You must not create or submit unwanted email, comments, likes or other forms of commercial or harassing communications (a/k/a "spam") to any Instagram users.
Violation of their terms may result in termination of the Instagram account, but Instagram might not even know about the account unless someone reports it. Fortunately for you, it's easy to report a spam account as shown here:
Simply tap the arrow at the top of the screen and then select "Report Inappropriate" to notify Instagram.
You should always evaluate every social media account that follows you, on every social network. Don't ever put up with spam from fake social accounts. Unfriend, unfollow, block, and report anyone as soon as you realize they are a spam account.
Spam accounts only get in the way and annoy us all. Fight back!