Witchy Instagram Has a Huge Imposter Problem

Fake accounts and spam DMs abound

Amanda Kay Oaks

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Photo by Daisy Anderson

There’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, but I just never sat down to put it into words. But I keep getting spam follows and scammy DMs on my personal Instagram to remind me, so here we are.

A while ago, someone I follow on Instagram posted a story complaining about a message she received from someone who “obviously doesn’t subscribe to the same beliefs I do.” She went on to describe the kind of sketchy, obviously fake DMs I get relatively often as well. Except she didn’t seem to realize it was a scam. She thought it was an actual witch, sliding into her DMs to aggressively offer spiritual guidance.

I’m not going to sit here and say no one is out there hustling their witchy wares in this way, because where people are involved, anything is possible. But the bigger problem is that Instagram has yet to crack down on scammers in the witchy community, who pose as popular accounts and try to take advantage of their fans. And it’s damaging the reputations of business owners and practitioners alike.

Imposter Accounts & Sketchy DMs

Many of the magic shops and online educators I follow are constantly battling fake accounts that clone their content, then follow the original accounts’ followers. The goal seems to be tricking folks into thinking they’ve personally connected with their favorite online witchy persona, then DMing them clamining they just have to have a pyschic/tarot/reiki whatever.

Screenshot from my Instagram message requests

If it wasn’t initially clear that these DMs aren’t legit, you can tell something is afoot after you receive a few of them. The wording is incredibly similar, if not identical. They almost always feel a strong connection and think you need a reading, then ask for your Zodiac sign.

Obviously, I never respond to these sketchy DMs, but I can presume that they’ll request a payment and then vanish into the ether without ever providing a service. Or perhaps the questions will get more and more personal, capturing your private information. Regardless, I…

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Amanda Kay Oaks

Pittsburgh-based writer & wearer of many metaphorical hats. Making words about books, pop culture, witchery, health, travel, and more! She/her.