Former Rock 101 DJ turns to Ted over fake Instagram accounts

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dayna Steele was a staple of Houston rock radio for years and was a really early adopter of social media, but mostly to figure out what her kids were doing, she told ABC13's Turn to Ted team.

But even as knowledgeable as she was, she couldn't get fake Instagram pages with her own photos taken down.

In her Clear Lake home, Steele has a hallway full of gold and platinum records from the bands she helped make famous: Styx, Aerosmith, The Police. She has no pricey coins on display at home and none in a safe somewhere.

"I don't have a coin collection," Steele told ABC13's Ted Oberg. "I don't sell coins."

But for a while on Instagram, it sure looked like she did. On the fake pages, close-ups of collectible coins were mixed in with her family photos, displayed on pages with names that sure looked like hers, even with her distinct spelling.

Steele realized someone was stealing her photos for fake pages.

"I started going into these accounts and it was not only my pictures, it was pictures I had posted maybe yesterday or this morning," she told us.

Steele says she went on the Instagram app and reported all five fake pages, but Instagram would only take a few down.

"Instagram told me it did not meet their criteria for a fake account," Steele said.

It's hard to find out why the social media giant said so. Instagram has no telephone for customer service and messaging on the app didn't get results for Steele.

Shortly after we reached out to Instagram, the fake pages were gone and the company admitted it was a mistake not to take them away faster.

"We removed the accounts shared with us that were impersonating @daynasteele and we conducted additional investigation," an Instagram spokesperson told ABC13 in an email.

Even after Instagram took down the first set of fake pages, a second set showed up.

Again, Steele had a tough time getting them taken down. Instagram was again responsive to us.

A spokesman told us again by email, "We reviewed the additional account and, upon a closer look, found it violated our impersonation policies. When investigating the reports made by @daynasteele on this account, we uncovered a gap in how we enforce these policies at scale, which we will be addressing to ensure we continue to remove accounts that impersonate others on Instagram."

To help you, Steele suggests Google yourself often.

"I always advise people, and I'd take my own advice, is Google yourself. Search for yourself just to every once in a while make sure there's nothing odd going on."

And while you're at it, search for your own name, not just account name on social media as well.

Most social media apps don't have a phone number for customer service. You have to handle this on the app itself.

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