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Instagram copied me! Spam accounts that duplicate user profiles are starting to appear on the social network

Like Facebook and Twitter before it, Instagram is suffering a blight of accounts that duplicate the photos, captions and profile pictures of genuine users, and it's got you smartphone and tablet snappers bemused.

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These fake accounts copy user information in order to evade Instagram's spam filters, but several have been discovered after duplicated captions and comments re-tagged friends of the original user, meaning they received a second notification.

The most likely explanation is that the copied accounts are used to provide users with fake followers, something which is already common on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where prices can range from $3 (just under £2) per 100 followers to $3 per 1,000.

It seems this trend is spreading to Instagram and, although they are probably harmless enough, it's a bit creepy to think that someone, or something, is out there impersonating you.

Satnam Narang, a researcher at Symantec, said; "I don't know if anyone would actually admit to buying followers, but it looks more and more likely that this may be the case, and that these impersonation accounts are being created to possibly evade any filters that Instagram has in place to detect spam activity."

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A statement from Instagram said; "To limit the spam you see on our service, we prohibit the creation of fraudulent accounts and use a set of systems that work to flag and block suspicious accounts used for spam."

"You can also report these accounts using the report links we provide in our apps and on our site."