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Instagram Shopping Scam: Statistics and How to Avoid Getting Scammed

4 Mins read

11 Tips on How to Identify Fake Business Accounts on any Social Media Platform

The Nigerian e-commerce sector is growing at a rapid rate. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria has the largest mobile e-commerce market in Africa.

With the growth of social media sites like Instagram, many businesses now run their e-commerce business on these platforms to reach more customers and sell their products. While social media is one of the easiest ways to market your products without investing much time, you need to be aware that there are risks of dealing with scammers in this industry.

In today’s article, we will be talking about Instagram shopping scams and how to avoid getting scammed. This is article talks about Scam cases on Instagram but the solution is not limited to Instagram.

Instagram as an e-commerce platform

Instagram as one of the most popular social media platforms in Nigeria has proven to be a popular platform for online shopping and also captures a significant percentage of the eCommerce transactions that take place in the country. According to a report by Hootsuite, as of December 2020, Instagram had about 6 million monthly active users in Nigeria. This number represents 21% of the country’s population and 20% of internet users in the country.

What is EcommerceComplaint?

EcommerceComplaint is a platform that helps consumers identify fraudulent businesses on social media.

EcommerceComplaint (ECC) Scam Report and Statistics

A report by EcommerceComplaint (ECC) from study research recently conducted on Instagram shows that a significant portion of Ecommerce growth reported by NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) may be subjected to malicious activities. With the increased popularity of the platform comes an increase in scams and fraudulent activities. The most common scam reported to ECC is impersonation, where scammers use fake accounts to advertise products and services online, only to defraud people who fall for their trick.

According to the report, between April 2020 and September 2021, Instagram shoppers lost a total of ₦273,235,485 to scammers—and that’s just the reported cases!

The total number of complaints we received was 18,395. After investigating 1,435 of these cases, we found the complaints to be false. We were able to confirm the remaining 17,960 cases as legitimate scam cases. From the total amount of reports which is ₦357,634,625 and other statistics gathered from ECC through their platform, we discovered that the most common scam complaint was around unsatisfied transactions. Customers lost ₦84,399,140 from 3,971 cases for unsatisfied transactions because they received items different from what they ordered.

We’ve also tracked complaints about customer service for Instagram vendors: customers weren’t receiving refunds or exchanges on items they were unsatisfied with or never received in the first place.

Overall, we were able to track 18,395 scam cases but confirmed 1,435 of those cases as false reports.

Read also: Escrow services: How it works, benefits, and 8 Escrow payment solutions you can use in Nigeria.

Statistics in tabular representation.

Identified Scam Cases


No of Reports

Percentage of Reports

Amounts (₦)





Clothing (male & female)




Travel Agency








Hookup, False Clergy & Ushering




Jewelry & Accessories




Mobile Phones and Accessories




Digital Currency




Cosmetics Products








Identified scam cases on Instagram

 Unsatisfied Transactions


No of reports

Percentage of Reports

Amounts (₦)





Clothing (Male & Female)








Jewelry & Accessories








Unsatisfied transactions on Instagram.

Identified Scam Cases plus Unsatisfied Transactions.

Total number of identified cases

Confirmed cases

False cases

Total Amount of Reports (₦)

Average daily Scam Reports (₦)

Recurring Cases from  Same Accounts







a total number of scam reports on Instagram.

Tips on How to identify Fake Business Accounts on Social Media

Fake business accounts are pretty simple to identify. A fake business account will have up to 5 of the following traits.

  1. No connection/link to a (business website) or the operator of the account
  2. Look for reviews on the vendor from previous buyers, and ask questions.
  3. Have many product posts but little or no post on delivery or customer satisfaction.
  4. No satisfactory reviews from buyers.
  5. Hilarious and unending discounts. Fake business accounts will always offer luxury goods at a steep discount
  6. Its followers are random or unreal followers: if you see a business account that has a bunch of followers with no consistent people commenting on or reviewing their products then you need to make more intensive research on the account before patronizing.
  7. Follows a lot of other accounts.
  8. Zero backlinks to the account: the business isn’t tagged in any post.
  9. It was recently created or has no post as to when it was created. For example, an account that was created in 2018 started posting in 2022
  10. Many contents shared on the same day.
  11. Use an escrow service for your transaction.

    What is an Escrow service?
    An Escrow financial service is an intermediary service that receives and secures payment from a buyer, and then releases it to the seller when the buyer has received the transacted goods or services in pre-agreed condition.

Ps: Having plenty of followers does not make the page legit, the same way having low numbers does not make a vendor a scam. People buy followers or buy accounts with plenty of followers.

Become a terror to online scammers using these 11 proven tricks as your filter

I strongly believe you’ll be able to seamlessly identify fake Instagram business accounts from the above traits.

I will lay more emphasis on escrow service in my next article coming up tomorrow.

Wait for it!

Stay well and keep on winning till then

Do you know any other way we can use to identify these scammers?

Please feel free to tell us in the comment section below, we will love to hear from you.

Let’s make Ecommerce transactions safe by getting rid of these scammers together.


Remember I’m rooting for you, my friend

It is our responsibility to create a healthy shopping environment where no one will be defrauded. Please continue to report scam cases across social media platforms.

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Escrow services: How it works, benefits and 7 Escrow payment solutions you can use in Nigeria.