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An Instagram profile you don’t recognise is harassing you and your family, even revealing personal information such as mobile numbers. An anonymous Instagram account falsely claims that you have been cheating on your wife. A fake Instagram account in your boyfriend’s name is uploading nasty things about you and sending threatening messages. With their distressing impact on reputations and relationships, all these scenarios present us with the crucial challenge of how to find out who is behind a fake Instagram account. While we explored social media harassment in general and on Facebook in previous blogs, it is worth focusing particularly on Instagram.

The nicest place on the Internet. Or is it?

For a long time, Instagram had the reputation of being ‘the nicest place on the internet’. Millions of users certainly agree, using it as a platform to share photos and thoughts, promote products and express themselves. While there is lots of thoughtfully curated, feel-good content, negative trends have also taken hold. For one, research demonstrates that frequent Instagram use in teens can lead to bad mental health outcomes. With our feeds constantly bombarding us with images of the perfect, it is hard not to feel boring, inadequate, or deficient. Furthermore, harassment and bullying are rife across the platform. This is closely related to another area of particular concern: the proliferation of fake Instagram accounts.

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Fake Instagram accounts

Instagram estimates that more than one in ten of its accounts, or 95 million, are actually fakes or bots. As a consequence, the company is uncovering and removing millions of fake accounts annually. Over recent years, Instagram has had to hire significant numbers of staff to trawl the service for that very purpose. However, they are often after big offenders or bots and rarely catch individual fake accounts motivated by jealousy or revenge. Furthermore, even if Instagram does act to close down or disable a profile, harassers will often simply set up another fake account. A game of whack-a-mole ensues but the key task remains unfinished. You still don’t know how to find out who is behind a fake Instagram account.

How to find out who is behind a fake Instagram account?

So, you figured that a cyber bully is harassing or defaming you from the anonymity of a fake Instagram account? You might even have a hunch who it could be: a resentful former friend, a spiteful ex-lover, a jealous competitor. But how do you find out for sure who is behind a fake account, and importantly, make them stop? If you report it to Instagram, they might shut down the account, but they won’t release information about who is behind it to you. Plus, the perpetrator can just open a new account. The police can only assist in criminal matters and usually require an IP address or other evidence to act upon. Finally, your lawyer can only help if they know who to actually send a cease-and-desist letter to! Luckily, you have come to the right place: Cybertrace can help you find out who is behind a fake Instagram account.

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What does Cybertrace have that others don’t?

Cybertrace uses a combination of technical investigative techniques in order to find out who is behind a fake Instagram account. This includes comparing published content and writing styles used by the fake profile to any individuals identified as potential suspects. Cybertrace has also developed its own highly specialised tools with the capability to deploy through Instagram to extract user information, such as an IP address. These tools are not used by any other investigators and remain one of Cybertrace’s leading tools to find out who is behind a fake Instagram profile.

Over the past few years, we have been able to successfully reveal numerous harassers’ personal information and IP addresses. Our clients have taken this information to their lawyers, the police, and the courts to get justice. Find out who is behind the fake Instagram account that is stirring up trouble. Contact us today to stop cyber bullies and reclaim your reputation, sanity, and peace of mind.

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