5 Instacart Scams to Watch Out For (Shoppers Beware)

Instacart Shoppers Have Been Getting Scammed By Customers

It can happen without warning. One day you are shopping with Instacart, following the rules. The next thing you know, your customer has complained that their batch was not delivered. You panic, this is your source of income and a dishonest customer has put it in jeopardy. While most customers will never use these scams, the few that do can cause you a major headache. They can lower your ratings, hurt your earnings, and potentially get you deactivated from the Instacart platform. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to mitigate these problems. If you stay alert, and watch out for these scams - while reporting any scams to support as soon as they happen, you might just be okay.

  • Customer Claims Batch Not Delivered

    As a shopper with Instacart, you're expected to hand off the batch to your customer before you mark it delivered. While there are some adverse circumstances that call for contact free deliveries, you will usually deliver the batch directly to the customer. Occasionally, you will receive a notification that your batch was not delivered, even though you have already handed it off to the customer. In this case, immediately contact Instacart support through the app. Let them know exactly what happened. If you do not tell your side of the story, you cannot expect a positive outcome. Unfortunately, this one of them most common scams that Instacart shoppers fall victim to. It's also one of the easiest ways to get deactivated as a shopper. For this reason, we recommend always taking a photo of the batch (with house numbers or visible landmark included) when you drop off an order. This will make Instacart more likely to reverse any deactivation resulting from this scam.

  • Customer Tip Batiing

    This was a massive issue for Instacart Shoppers in the past. Fortunately, Instacart as made some adjustments to the app so that tip baiting is more difficult for customers. Essentially, a shopper can see batches with tip amount included before deciding to shop a batch. The customer is able to change that tip amount after the batch has been completed. What happens when the app is busy is that customers will add a high tip amount so that their batch is picked up and shopped quickly, then they will reduce their tip (sometimes all the way to zero dollars) after the batch has been shopped. This makes a batch that appeared worth wile no longer worth the time and the effort for the shopper.

  • Replaced Items

    This is another scam that happens far too often! Instacart customers will place items on their shopping list that they know the store does not carry or will have to be replaced. In this case, a shopper is prompted to ask the customer if they want a refund or replacement. Generally, the customer will request a replacement. Then, once the order is delivered, the customer will complain that the replacement was not correct. This will give the customer a refund, while hurting the tip and final payout for the shopper.

  • Phishing Attempts

    In this scam, you will get a call pretending to be shopper support. The scammer will request your login info so that they can fix an issue in your app. Once they have acquired your information they can then change the direct deposit info in your account and steal your Instacart payout. It's important to NEVER give away your personal account information, Instacart support will never ask you for this info.

Instacart Support

While you are shopping, it is always best to contact Instacart support in the app. If you have issues in the app you can reach out to support here:

Fortunately, there are other gig economy apps that you can use to generate income – if you run into too much trouble on the Instacart app.

Popular delivery apps that you can sign up for and start working with quickly include Postmates and Doordash!



  •  Compare multiple quotes in 45 seconds.
  •  Customers save an average of $872/year.
  • No fees. No spam. No unwanted calls.