Instagram Influencer Marketing Fraud: What You Need to Know

Influencer marketing is a powerful way for brands to reach their target audience, but it comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest problems facing this type of marketing is the prevalence of fraud. In particular, Instagram influencer marketing fraud is on the rise. In this article, we’ll explore what you need to know about Instagram influencer marketing fraud and how you can protect your brand.

What is Instagram influencer marketing fraud?

Instagram influencer marketing fraud is when a fake influencer misrepresents themselves as a reputable account and offers to promote a brand or product in exchange for money or compensation. This can take many forms, including fake followers, likes and comments. It’s a tactic used by some influencers to make themselves appear more popular and command higher fees from brands. Unfortunately, it’s also a tactic that can do a lot of damage to a brand’s reputation.

How prevalent is Instagram influencer marketing fraud?

According to a study by Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram influencer fraud costs brands approximately $1.3 billion annually. In fact, up to 20% of influencers may have fake followers. It's important to keep in mind that not all influencers who have a large following are engaging in fraud. However, it’s essential to take steps to protect your brand.

How can you protect your brand from Instagram influencer marketing fraud?

Here are a few steps brands can take to protect themselves from influencer fraud:
1. Research influencers thoroughly: Do your due diligence and investigate potential influencers’ accounts. Look for signs of inauthentic activity such as an unusually high number of followers and low engagement rates.
2. Use an influencer marketing platform: There are many influencer marketing platforms that vet influencers and ensure they are genuine. They can also help you identify fake followers and low-quality engagement.
3. Set clear expectations: Be clear about your expectations and what you are looking for in an influencer. This includes outlining the goals of the campaign and the metrics to be measured.
4. Track outcomes: Monitor your campaign closely and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure you get the desired outcome. If something looks suspicious, don’t hesitate to reach out to the influencer for an explanation.
Taking these steps can help you protect your brand and ensure that your influencer marketing campaigns run smoothly.


Instagram influencer marketing can be incredibly effective, but it's crucial to be aware of the risks of fraud. By taking steps to vet influencers and track the effectiveness of campaigns, brands can safeguard themselves from fraud and ensure that their campaigns are a success.