Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media have become important for people and having a lot of followers means popularity. This leads to the desire to have a lot of followers and it creates a new business.
Some people want to increase their followers to a huge number by any means. Users and brands usually engaged in this practice to widen their reach in social media. However, recently Mumbai Police found a fake social follower scam, a practice to increase the number of followers by paying certain online portals.
Fake Followers Business
Mumbai Police has set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the matter. So far, the police department has identified 54 portals selling fake followers and found information about the other 100 portals.
The Crime Branch’s Central Intelligence Unit arrested one person, accused of selling fake followers and creating fake influencers. The accused created at least 176 fake accounts and provided 5 lakhs of fake followers on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
Abhishek Dawade is the person behind this action, a 21-year-old resident of Kurla and a college dropout. Previously, he worked for an international Social Media Marketing racket and accepted payments for his services in US dollars.
According to reports, he gained $9,000 or roughly Rs 9 lakhs in a year just by selling fake followers. According to Mumbai Mirror, the customers are directors, choreographers, make-up artists, athletes, and many more.
These digital marketing rackets frequently work in the darkness, so it is difficult to define their motives. However, when Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi noticed that someone had created her fake Instagram profile and got a lot of followers, she filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police. The person used the social media handle of Bhoomi to reach out to other celebrities with an offer to increase their followers.
The SIT is now investigating other portals and trying to identify who bought these fake followers.