Beware: Instagram Flooded with Fake Profiles and Reviews

A startling revelation has emerged about the prevalence of fake profiles and reviews on Instagram, particularly in the realm of beauty products and fashion. According to findings by Delhi-based software marketing company KlugKlug, a staggering 60% of Instagram profiles followed by users, especially youngsters, are fake. With 51.6 crore Instagram users in India alone, the scale of synthetic followers is alarming.

These synthetic followers, often created using artificial intelligence (AI), serve the purpose of boosting sales for fashion items and beauty creams. Paid forgers are hired by companies to post glowing reviews, complete with deep fake lip movements, praising the efficacy of their products. Accounts predominantly feature women’s names, with AI-generated faces lending credibility to these reviews.

Unfortunately, many consumers fall victim to these deceptive practices, with 50% of the products endorsed by fake accounts turning out to be substandard. Instances of individuals experiencing adverse effects after relying on such reviews are not uncommon. From hair loss due to misleading hair growth oil recommendations to financial losses from fraudulent rummy and loan apps, the consequences can be severe.

The sale of followers further exacerbates the issue, with 1000 followers available for as little as 50 to 100 rupees. As follower counts inflate, the credibility of these accounts increases, perpetuating the cycle of deceit. Warning signs of fake profiles include millions of followers but no profile pictures and a disproportionate follower-to-following ratio.

To combat this growing problem, vigilance is key. Consumers are urged to exercise caution when relying on social media reviews and to report suspicious accounts. With cyber fraud on the rise, initiatives like Cyber Help Number 1930 are essential in safeguarding users against online deception.

Key Statistics

200 crore Instagram users worldwide, with 51.6 crore in India

India, UAE, and Indonesia among the top countries with the highest number of synthetic followers

Synthetic followers often originate from Russia and Turkey, supplying fake accounts to bolster online presence.

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