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How To Tell If Someone Bought Followers or Likes on Instagram

Are you suspicious that an Instagram account is purchasing some – or all – of their engagement? Here’s how to tell if someone bought followers or likes on Instagram.
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How To Tell If Someone Bought Followers or Likes on Instagram
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Buying followers and likes on Instagram to boost engagement for your account is not an uncommon practice. 

But some accounts use it as one of their only growth strategies – and it shows. 

There are certain telltale signs that point toward inflated engagement, ranging from subtle to extremely obvious. For example, you might see that one post has significantly more likes than other recent ones. Or you might notice that the person posts hardly at all, yet their followers still grow at a steady rate.

Those signs are how to tell if someone bought followers or likes on Instagram. And we’re going to go through them one by one!

5 Signs That Someone Bought Instagram Followers or Likes

Here are five signs that someone purchased Instagram followers or likes for their account.

1. Their Followers or Likes on a Post Increased Overnight

One way to tell when there are paid followers or likes afoot is if they increase all of a sudden, even overnight. 

For example, let’s say someone has 500 followers, and the next day that number has jumped to 1500. If they haven’t posted during that time, and none of their past posts have gone viral, then there’s only one logical explanation for a sudden and significant boost like that. They must have bought those followers. 

The same goes for likes. If one of their posts generates noticeably more likes than normal, that tells us one of two things. Either that post went viral for some reason, or they bought likes for it. 

To be able to catch this sign, however, you’ll need to monitor the other person’s follower count and likes counts carefully. You’ll also probably have to check their account multiple times a day. That’s why, while this sign appears obvious, it can be difficult to verify.

2. They Have More Followers or Likes than Other Types of Engagement

Another common sign is when someone has more followers and/or likes than any other type of engagement. 

Think about it. If you’re generating engagement on your Instagram posts, it shouldn’t be exclusively one type. But if all you’re getting is likes, or you have several thousand followers and comparatively few likes and comments, that’s a bit suspicious. And it’s also a good reason to think that that person may have bought those likes or followers.

3. They Don’t Post Frequently (Or at All)

Unless you’re already a celebrity, a famous influencer, or an important public person when you join Instagram, you have to work hard to generate followers and engagement. That means posting as often as possible. 

But if someone has a history of posting to their Instagram account infrequently, or not at all, then it would certainly appear strange if their followers and likes continued to climb without any effort on their part. 

In this scenario, they may be buying followers and likes just to keep their engagement up, and only posting often enough to keep their account active. Close monitoring of their account metrics will tell you for sure that this is happening.

4. Their Posts are Low Quality

There is a circumstance in which someone may be posting often, but it’s still obvious that they’re still buying likes and followers. It’s when their posts are so low quality, that it doesn’t seem possible that they would garner much interest. Yet the account is still getting remarkable levels of engagement. 

With bad or low-quality posts and no reputation or celebrity renown to bolster their fanbase, the only way someone can get so many likes and followers is by buying them. Keep that in mind as you analyze their profile for these disparities.

5. Their Profile Looks Fake

Similar to an account with low-quality posts, someone with a profile that looks fake, but has thousands of followers and/or likes is most likely buying that engagement. This could be a bot account, or it could be a spam account run by someone who is trying to scam people out of their money.

Some of the most common signs of a fake Instagram profile include:

  • Generic username with a lot of random letters and numbers
  • Stock profile photo
  • Empty bio OR Bio filled with seemingly random words or hashtags
  • No posts

How Can You Tell If Someone’s Instagram Followers Are Fake? 

You may be able to tell if someone’s Instagram followers are fake by running their account through a fake followers checker, or if they have a high follower count and low engagement.


Knowing that someone else is buying their likes and followers on Instagram can give you the confidence to continue growing your own account. It can also help you learn how to avoid making it obvious that you purchased engagements, should you decide to buy Instagram followers or likes yourself. 

Remember that buying followers and likes on Instagram is an excellent practice that can expand your reach and boost organic engagement – as long as you implement it alongside other social media marketing techniques!

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