Is Instacart Legit? (All You Need to Know)

Instacart burst onto the scenes in 2012, offering grocery shopping and delivery services by app or website. Though some were skeptical, by 2020, the service became an essential part of everyday life in the US.

But is Instacart everything they say? Is Instacart legit, and does it deliver on what it promises? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I discovered!

Is Instacart Legitimate In 2024?

Instacart is a legitimate, reputable company that is, on the whole, safe and convenient to use in 2024. Though there have been some complaints and less-than-honest elements associated with the app and website, Instacart enjoys widespread use and general customer satisfaction. Instacart shoppers, meanwhile, enjoy the flexibility and secure weekly payouts.

To learn more about the safety of using Instacart, what kind of theft and scamming has occurred, how to report an Instacart shopper and much more, find all the info below!

Is Instacart a Safe Website?

Overall, Instacart is a safe site, according to Consumer Affairs in its review of the site/app, as well as by Grocery Store QA.

Grocery Store QA reports that employees of Instacart find the company safe to work for as well, and that the company “aims to protect buyers and personal shoppers from getting ripped off.”

It’s worth mentioning, however, that in 2020 Instacart did reveal that there had been data breaches.

Hackers accessed and sold over 276,000 shoppers’ personal information from Instacart.

Later, two employees from a third-party vendor reviewed more customer info than was needed, though none of that information was compromised.

Still, this has led Instacart to double-down on safety measures, including automatic logouts and requiring random customer verification.

Instacart also implemented a ban on customers from switching devices while completing an order.

Do Instacart Shoppers Steal Groceries?

On the whole, Instacart shoppers are responsible, trustworthy and hard-working.

While it’s easy to jump to conclusions, chances are better that a missing item is the result of an honest mistake, rather than outright theft.

That said, it has been known to happen, because, as in any workplace, you have your dishonest elements.

However, there are safeguards built into the Instacart app, namely the review process after each order.

It’s very easy for customers to report missing items, as it only takes a few seconds.

So, if one shopper in particular stands out as racking up many, many missing items over the course of weeks or months, Instacart is going to notice.

How Do You Report an Instacart Shopper?

How Do You Report an Instacart Shopper?

Reporting an Instacart shopper is easy to do from the app or online.

The quickest way to do so, right after your shopper has dropped off your order, is to use the automatic review that pops up after you open the app.

You will have the opportunity to rate your shopping experience and report your shopper.

If you already left a review and forgot to make your report, you can still go into the app and say something to Instacart by doing the following:

  1. Navigate to the Orders section of the app, in the bottom right portion of the main menu bar.
  2. Pick which order it relates to and Select “Get help.”
  3. A new menu will appear. Select “Another issue.” From the next list, choose “Something else.”
  4. The next thing that appears is a box where you can write text, with “How can we help?” at the top.
  5. This is where you can report your shopper if need be; try to be as descriptive as possible.

Generally, a customer service representative will get back to you within 24 hours via email.

However, if you need to speak with someone immediately, you can call 1-888-246-7822 for Instacart customer support.

Can You Get Scammed on Instacart?

Unfortunately, these days scammers have all too many avenues to try and rip off people, and Instacart is no exception.

One of the scams being pulled involves the shoppers – not the customers.

Basically, the scammers trick the shoppers into giving them their real phone numbers. Next, they trick them into giving them a code that is used to access the account.

Once that is complete, the scammers can gain access to shoppers’ accounts and everything in it, including personal information and any money that is ready for withdrawal.

Check out this TikTok video here for a full, first-person explanation of how the scam works.

If you’re an Instacart shopper, it’s important to never give your real phone number out to customers.

What Happens When an Instacart Order Is Wrong?

If your Instacart order arrives and there is something wrong with it – missing item, extra item you didn’t order, damaged item, etc. – you can report it.

The first way is via the review window that pops up the first time you open the app after a delivery.

If you give less than a five-star review, the app will ask you what was wrong with your order.

If you already gave a five-star review, but realized something wasn’t right later, you can go back into your Orders, find the incorrect one and select “Get help.”

The app will then take you through the process of reporting an error.

When you have an extra item that you didn’t order, Instacart tells you to go ahead and keep it – you aren’t responsible for returning it and you don’t have to pay for it.

Additionally, if you’re missing an item or received a damaged or unsatisfactory item, Instacart is very quick to refund it.

Why Does Instacart Want a Selfie?

As mentioned earlier, Instacart implemented some safeguards to keep shoppers’ information secure and the app more secure overall.

Those safeguards include Shopper Identity Verification, or selfies taken by shoppers of themselves.

This ensures the face of the person holding the phone matches the photo that Instacart keeps on file.

Can Instacart Drivers See Your Name?

While perhaps not ideal for maximum privacy, Instacart drivers can see your first name and last initial, as well as your address.

If you are not comfortable with a stranger having this information, then Instacart is not the best shopping option for you.

Phone numbers are never exchanged, however. Instead, all communication is done through the app, both text messages and phone calls.

Additionally, note that millions of customers use the app monthly without any privacy incidents.

Is Working for Instacart Worth It?

The gig economy is tough, as you have to hustle to make good money, but Instacart does offer shoppers the opportunity to make money on a flexible schedule.

Dollar Break gives the company 5/5 stars for being legit and safe, as well as at least 4/5 stars for earning potential, flexible schedule, and for the payout process.

You can check out the entire review here.

To know more, you can also check our posts on Instacart refund, if you should tip Instacart delivery drivers, and Instacart gift cards.


Instacart is a legitimate and thriving company, making it safe to order from and a good option for workers in the gig economy.

While it has had its fair share of data leaks and scams, the overwhelming majority of experiences with Instacart are positive.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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