Fake Instagram Direct Messages: Be Careful of Suspicious DMs

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 30, 2024

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While Instagram always works to ramp up its security measures, inauthentic activity is almost unavoidable on the platform. You’ve probably heard of bot accounts and ghost followers that do nothing but pull down your engagement rate. But did you know that fake Instagram direct messages also go around from time to time?

Yes—aside from fake followers and spammy, generic comments from automated accounts, fake DMs are a thing, too. People go out of their way to either send deceptive direct messages or post screenshots of orchestrated ones that never occurred. Yikes!

Although receiving fake messages won’t put you in any physical danger, it’s important to stay vigilant and be on the lookout for them. That way, you won’t find yourself scammed out of your wallet or manipulated by disinformation.

Today, we’ll talk all about fake DMs, people’s motivations for sending them and the only acceptable ways to use them.

Because messaging apps are all the rage today, Instagram created Direct Messages.

For Insta Newbies: What Is Direct Message on Instagram?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of fake Instagram DMs, let’s first answer a more basic question—what is a “direct message” on Instagram?

Instagram direct messages are the equivalent of texts on the Instagram platform. You’ll find these DMs on Instagram Direct, the platform’s in-app chat and messaging feature. The messages you send to people here are private and don’t show up on the feed. It’s very reminiscent of Facebook’s Messenger app or WhatsApp.

What’s cool about Instagram DMs is that aside from messages, you can send your friends the cool posts you see on your feed. You can even send photos, GIFs, stickers and many more.

To send an Instagram DM, click on the paper plane icon on the app’s top-right corner of your home screen. This brings you to the inbox, where you see all your messages. From there, simply choose a person to message. You can also go to someone’s profile and hit the “Message” button underneath their bio.

Type what you want to say in the message field and then hit “Send!” You can also choose a photo from your library to send them.

Instagram DMs are excellent for keeping in touch with friends and family. It’s also great for sharing funny content you know your loved ones will enjoy. But for Instagram business owners, they’re also a tool for marketing.

DMs allow brands and influencers to talk to their audience on a personal level, strengthening their relationship. They also work as a customer service tool for people who have questions about your business’ products or services. That makes Instagram direct messages a key part of successfully running an Instagram account, especially for businesses.

Instagram DMs are a part of our everyday internet life, but fake DMs are a thing, too.

Not All DMs Are Authentic—Some Are Fake Instagram Direct Messages

Because DMs are integral to the Instagram experience, some people go out of their way to create fake Instagram direct messages.

There are two ways a fake DM will fall into your lap while casually scrolling through Instagram.

The first way is right in your message inbox. These fake DMs are spam texts that try to phish for your private information or scam you out of your money.

The second way is when you come across someone posting a screenshot of a fake, orchestrated Instagram direct message.

These two kinds of fake Instagram direct messages differ vastly, but you must be wary of both. One can harm you by stealing your personal and financial information, while the other can manipulate you with disinformation.

Some suspicious accounts rely on fake DMs to scam others or lie about conversations that never happened. Many of them do it for malicious purposes. But why (and how) do they do it in the first place? Let’s go through some of the most common reasons why people make fake DMs and how they go about it.

Scammers Using an Instagram Mass DM Bot to Message Many Potential Victims

One common way to scam people online is by selling them something that doesn’t exist, only to take their money and run. But scammers don’t just spam-text one person at a time, hoping they fall into this trap. Scammers message loads of people and wait for someone to bite the bullet.

As of writing, Instagram doesn’t have a feature that allows you to message multiple people at once in individual chats. So, scammers must be resourceful and use an Instagram mass DM bot to send fake DMs to as many people as possible.

There are a couple of mass-messaging bots out there available for public use. Scammers with access to these tools can select a specific audience and send fake Instagram DMs to them.

For example, a scammer can choose the young female demographic or followers of a certain celebrity. Then, the automated mass-messaging bot can send the same fake DM to people under those groups. And if you reply to this fake DM, you can fall prey to a scam.

Is he flirting to make you blush, or is it a fake DM that’s part of a romance scam?

People Posing as Someone Else To Steal Your Information

Some suspicious accounts will also send fake Instagram direct messages to build rapport with you. Be careful—many of them have malicious purposes and have an end goal of getting your personal information.

This can happen in many ways. Fake messages can come in the form of phishing links, people pretending to invite you to a collab or even fake contests and giveaways.

One of the cruelest fake messages falls under the “romance scam.” Fake accounts might message you and try to stir up some romance as a ploy to get you to reveal sensitive information about yourself. Once they gain your trust, they’ll even ask for large sums of money. And when you give them that money, they’ll immediately ghost you.

Other fake accounts might pose as tech support, investment traders or companies offering you a job to get your trust. Before you know it, they’ll ask for personal information like your full government name and home address. Big yikes!

Always be vigilant with these fake accounts that send sketchy, fake Instagram direct messages. Make sure they’re legitimate before sharing any private information with them.

Brands Making “Reviews” Using a Fake Instagram Direct Message Generator

Now, let’s talk about suspicious accounts conjuring fake DMs and posting them online for show. Why would someone do that?

Someone would orchestrate a fake conversation and post about it online to boost their reputation. Brands can fall into the temptation of creating a fake DM with a “customer” who reviews their product well.

They’ll download a fake Instagram direct message generator and set up a fake conversation between the brand and the buyer. Then, they’ll post it on their profile and pass it off as a screenshot of a legitimate DM.

We live in a world where people see testimonials and reviews as social proof of how trustworthy an online brand is. Sadly, as a result, faking reviews in the DMs is something a few bad business owners do.

Using a Fake Instagram Direct Message App To Orchestrate a DM That Didn’t Happen

The last reason someone might create fake Instagram direct messages is to deceive the public with misinformation. Perhaps they’re trying to ruin someone’s image and reputation. It’s a cheap but easy way to fabricate a conversation that never ensued to paint someone in a bad light.

Sometimes, people also use a fake Instagram direct message app for pranks. They’ll stage conversations with celebrities and joke with their followers about them talking to their celebrity crush. While it’s a cool trick for April Fool’s Day, pulling pranks like these is not always tasteful.

People sometimes pose as others when sending fake Instagram direct messages.

What To Do When You See a Fake Instagram DM Notification

What do you do if you hear your phone ding and see an Instagram notification of what looks like fake messages?

If you feel unsafe opening the fake Instagram DM notification, simply don’t. The potential scammer will see that you’ve opened the message and probably pester you further to get a reply. If you’re 100% positive that it’s a fake Instagram DM, report it and delete it immediately from your inbox.

But if you can’t tell if it’s a fake or legitimate DM, do a little more digging. Visit the account profile that sent the message and try to discern whether it’s one of those bot accounts. Here are some signs that will tell you it’s a fake account:

·   They have very few posts, many of which have low engagement. There might be a few generic comments on their posts, but none that tell you they’re a brand people trust.

·   The account has the “New” badge, which tells you it’s a recently made account.

·   They have blurry, low-quality photos either on their feed or as their profile photo.

You can also reply to the suspicious accounts messaging you to see if they talk like a professional brand or influencer. Voice out your concerns that their offer might be a scam.

Legit brands will be more reassuring and prove that the DM isn’t fake. Meanwhile, you might scare off scammers and bot accounts if you call them out. They might even block you. You’ll know if they blocked you if you see “user not found” next time you open your DM with them.

When you’re utterly convinced it is a fake Instagram direct message, report it immediately. To do that, long-press the suspicious message and click “Report.”

Staging a fake DM exchange to announce an influencer collaboration is a great way to excite your followers.

You Can Make Fake Instagram DMs for Harmless Creative Content Too

The use of fake Instagram DM generators isn’t always bad. As a content creator, you can use them to make unique, interesting, out-of-the-box content for your profile.

Making fake messages is a slippery slope and isn’t the best practice. But as long as you know you won’t use it for malicious purposes, you can have a lot of fun with fake DM tools.

Here are a few fun and harmless ways to use staged direct messages to grow your Instagram account and entertain your followers:

Fake Instagram DM To Announce a Collaboration

One clever way to use a fake Instagram DM is by staging a conversation to announce a collaboration between two influencers. You can create a fake conversation of one influencer playfully asking another creator to partner with them, while the other says yes.

This is something Jin of BTS and Coldplay did to announce that Jin would be joining the band’s Argentina show as a guest performer. They orchestrated fake messages between Jin and Chris Martin, Coldplay’s frontman, talking about the concert. They even “sent” selfies to each other in the fake DMs.

And the fans ate it up! Even if everyone knew that it wasn’t a real conversation that ensued between the two artists, it was still fun to see. It also created tons of hype around the concert.

Encourage UGC With a Fake Instagram Direct Message on Stories

Brands can also use fake Instagram DMs to encourage followers to create user-generated content for an incentive. The usual feed posts inviting people to make UGC for a prize can get boring after some time. Why not experiment by posting a video of a fake DM on your Instagram Story instead?

The fake messages can look like this: A customer sends an Instagram DM to a fashion brand to share a photo of them wearing the label’s clothes. The brand replies enthusiastically with a thank you message, followed by a discount code as a reward for the customer’s UGC.

Then, add a text overlay to explain that when someone posts UGC about your brand, they’ll get an exclusive discount voucher as a prize. It’s a great way to get people excited about the possibility of winning prizes after posting about brands they love.

You can also use staged Instagram DMs to promote events, new songs, or beautiful product lines. Get as creative as you can with the “conversation” in the chat!

They Are Excellent Imagery for Visual Storytelling

Fake Instagram direct messages also make for realistic imagery for online storytelling.

Social media AUs—or visual fan fiction—rose in popularity during the pandemic. Authors tell these stories entirely through text messages, Instagram DMs and fake phone calls. It’s kind of like the modern-day epistolary novel. And what do these modern-day authors use to make them? Fake DM generators, of course.

Even Netflix documentaries use fake messages onscreen when they recount a true story that involves online messages. It makes the story feel more true-to-life and authentic. So, who’s to say you can’t use them for Instagram content that involves visual storytelling?

How To Make Fake Instagram DMs for Good Fun

Are you wondering how to make fake Instagram DMs for a fun promo or visual imagery for your storytelling? There are plenty of apps that allow you to do it!

One of our favorite ones is Funsta—a fake chat app that allows you to stage fake Instagram direct messages. You can orchestrate every detail on the screen, from which Instagram user is talking to what emojis and GIFs they send! You can also make fake Instagram feed posts on Funsta and add fake likes and comments on them.

People who have used the app say that the finished product looks super clean and realistic. Your Instagram DM interface will look like a legitimate screenshot from the platform! Try it out if you’re looking to create fake messages for fun or creative promotional content.

Only Use Fake Instagram DMs for Creative Content That Will Grow Your Account

Instagram DMs are a part of what makes the platform so fun. But some people take advantage of this messaging feature and send fake DMs to put you in harm’s way. So, always be vigilant about the direct messages you get on Instagram.

If you receive fake DMs from scammers or bot accounts, it’s best to report them immediately. And if you have an inkling that someone’s post of a DM screenshot is fake, take it with a grain of salt. They might have just generated it from a free app.

Fake Instagram direct messages are only acceptable if you use them to express yourself. Fake DMs are awesome for increasing your engagement rate because they’re a unique way to tell a story or make an announcement. Do you know what else can help boost your engagement and grow your community on Instagram? Path Social, of course. Our proprietary targeting tool helps you get your content out there so the right people see it. As a result, you get a higher reach, more engagement and a bigger, more loyal community of followers. Grow your page with Path Social today!