Instagram Didn’t Act on Identity Theft, Says a Novelist

According to a novelist, Instagram fails to act when fake accounts in a person’s name pop up.

Joe Dunthorne is a novelist from the UK who says that he couldn’t get in touch with the company when a fake account in his name appeared on the platform.

Instagram stated that they do their very best to stop users from becoming victims of impersonation. However, a cyber threat expert urged the platform to do more about identity theft.

Meta said that impersonating someone goes against their rules and guidelines.

Dunthorne explained that he first realized what was happening when he was alerted about it on Twitter. Someone told him his Instagram account had been hacked when he didn’t have an Instagram profile. 

That’s when he realized someone had been re-posting his Twitter posts on Instagram under his name. He joined the platform to write to the account to stop impersonating him when the account blocked him.

People around Dunthorne started commenting on the fake account, but the comments and messages just disappeared.

Dunthorne made a fake account and pretended to be a fan. He said it was spooky that some of the messages had a “sexual angle” to them, and the imposter asked him to reach out to him on WhatsApp.

One day, while at home, he received a call on WhatsApp from the number his imposter had sent. He picked up, but neither showed their faces. After 20 seconds, the imposter cut the call and blocked Dunthorne on Instagram.

After a few months, the account started convincing followers to buy crypto from his friend “Tyler.” During these months, he consistently tried to reach out to Instagram and do something about the account. 

Dunthorne filled out Instagram’s online form about such things, but he didn’t hear back. While telling his story for the London Review of Books, he explained that many people lose their money because of accounts like these.

A lecturer from Swansea University, Dr. Sara Giro Correia, said platforms need to take more responsibility when it comes to fake accounts.


Ema is an ESL teacher (who is highly curious about technology in education) and a content writer. She enjoys writing on all sorts of subjects and she loves a good challenge. When she’s not working, you can find her reading a mystery thriller or watching “Shutter Island” for the umpteenth time.

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