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Over the past two days I have been receiving Instagram Confirm your email address for Instagram emails telling me that an old Gmail account of mine has been added to an account:

Hi [redacted]!

You updated your email address to [redacted]@gmail.com. Confirm your email address to continue capturing and sharing your moments with the world.

At first I thought they were spam because I do not have an Instagram account, so I treated them with gloves on. They are legitimate emails though.

I clicked the

If you didn't change your Instagram email address, revert this change.

link in the mail and my email address was decoupled. I then receive Instagram [redacted], we've made it easy to get back on Instagram mails saying:

Hi [redacted],

It seems like you're having trouble logging into Instagram. We can help you get back into your account.

I ignore these, of course.

This 'thread' started with an initial Instagram Welcome! Confirm your email mail, obviously from someone registering, saying:

Welcome to Instagram, [redacted]

First, please confirm your email address. If you're ever locked out of your account, this will help us get you back in

This used a slightly different account name, and was followed by two Username Changed on Instagram emails resulting in the final name now being used for that back-and-forth sequence.

I have full control over the GMail account, there are no login attempts etc, and I have reset to an even stronger password just to 'make sure'.
I will just keep removing the added email address until it stops.

Questions:

  1. What could possibly be the intention of someone doing this, if (s)he has no control over the email address? (And maybe part of this: why those name changes?)

  2. Is there anything else I should undertake?

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    One (mildly unlikely, but possible) explanation is they're mistyping their email address. There's somebody whose address differs from mine by one character (our middle initials are different) and I am FREQUENTLY getting messages that are intended for her. – Erica Jul 1 '18 at 15:08
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  1. Hard to say what the intention is. As mentioned in a comment, it could be someone mistyping your email address accidentally. It could be a bot, but it seems strange to try to intentionally register an account using an email address that one doesn't have control over if verification is required.

  2. If you're sure you'd never want to use an Instagram account under that email address and you want to avoid getting these notifications, you could register an Instagram account yourself using that email address, confirm your email, and then delete your account. That support article mentions:

After you delete your account, you can't sign up again with the same username or add that username to another account, and we can't reactivate deleted accounts

If by same username, they mean same username or email address (Not 100% sure if that's the case - perhaps you could contact Instagram support to verify), that should prevent these emails from recurring.

  • I have created an account with that email address. Whether I will delete it I don't know yet. – user55949 Sep 21 '18 at 6:53