new Delhi: On social media, you often measure the importance of people, their popularity and their influence by the number of their followers. You will give more importance to those who have more followers and those who have less followers, you will consider them less popular. But if you come to know that the big stars and celebrities whom you follow, whose words have a deep impact on your mind, their followers are fake and bought, then you will be very disappointed.
So now we will tell you about the big social media scam which has been exposed by Mumbai Police. Under this scam, big influential people of social media were buying a large number of fake followers in order to impose their influence on others. This is a business model under which the person who has more followers will take more money to promote a product or to speak in favor of someone. How did this greed turn into a scam to cheat the world’s 396 crore people? How did this happen? When did it start? And how was it exposed? You should know this.
The Maharashtra Police has exposed the scam, claiming that from social media to followers, likes, comments, subscribers, retweets and views are being purchased.
It is also claimed that many big celebrities including Bollywood have bought a large number of fake followers to increase their popularity and influence on social media. Not only this, Bots are also being used to propagate on social media. These are a type of internet robots that are able to promote any news or content at the top of your news feed, whose purpose is to propagate against any subject or person. That is, not only through humans, but also through robots, fake news can be spread.
Now you understand how this whole scam was exposed. On 11 July, a Bollywood singer named Bhoomi Trivedi complained to the Mumbai Police that a fake account has been created on Instagram using his name and pictures and that the fake account maker is claiming that This is the official account of Bhumi Trivedi. When the police investigated the matter, it was found that by creating a fake account in the name of Bhumi Trivedi, a person was not only increasing the number of followers but was also doing many business deals in the name of this singer.
In this case, the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police arrested a person named Abhishek Dawade who used to work for a company named Followers Cart.
During investigation, it was found that this company used to provide more than 700 services in 80 different categories. These services were linked to various social media platforms and online games applications including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, LinkedIn, Spotify and Sound Cloud.
This company, named Followers Cart, used to make available fake likes, comments, views, retweets, subscribers and followers to its customers on these platforms and in return, fees were collected in dollars.
This company’s network was spread almost all over the world and apart from India, the countries where this company was working prominently are Russia, America, Britain, France, Italy and Israel. Apart from this, there are names of many countries. Investigations have also revealed that this company used to tamper with the servers of social media platforms, due to which the number of likes, comments and followers suddenly started increasing. The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police has come to know that the wires of this entire scam are also connected to France and now the investigating agency has written a letter to the French government seeking help in the matter. Apart from this, another person has been arrested in this case named Kasif Mansoor, a civil engineer by profession and he used to operate a website called WWW.AMVSMM.Com.
Police sources say that Kasif Mansoor is a big player in this scam and his company also used to provide fake followers and through this it earned crores of rupees.
Now the matter of those people who are being accused of buying fake followers. At present, there are more than 200 celebrities on the police radar. These include, from Bollywood stars, choreographers, famous Tiktok stars, bow de builders and other social media influencers. Social media influencers are called those whose number of followers are in millions and crores and by whom things are said to affect a large population.
Accusations on these celebs
There is also a report in the year 2019 based on the investigation of Mumbai Police, which was prepared by The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance i.e. ICMP. This report mentioned 10 Bollywood celebrities who are accused of buying fake followers. Two of them are named Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone. This report claims that 48 percent of the followers of these two actresses are fake or have internet bots. Although the ICMP says that this report is no longer available, because now it is out of date.
But the same report claimed that Deepika Padukone used to take 1 lakh 90 thousand dollars i.e. about 1 crore 42 lakh rupees for posting a post on social media whereas Priyanka Chopra used to get more than 2 crores rupees for posting one. Currently, Priyanka Chopra has more than 70 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, while the number of followers of Deepika Padukone on these two platforms is also around 7 crore.
Earning crores of rupees
Now if the matter of fake followers is true, then it is a business model in itself, under which some celebrities increase their number of fowers and then in the name of promoting a product or content or in favor of someone Some earn crores of rupees in the name of writing. However, in this case we have also sent a mail to Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone and asked her her favor.
Priyanka Chopra’s manager told us that he will give us the e-mail ID on which we can know his response by mailing. But so far Priyanka Chopra’s team has not given us any email ID. While the manager of Deepika Padukone told us that they will give feedback on this by watching our show. In all, the Mumbai Police is now investigating more than 60 companies that are accused of selling fake followers.
You can also call it the biggest scam of history so far because the number of victims of this scam is not in thousands or lakhs but in crores. In simple words, more than half of the world’s population has become the victim of this scam. According to a new report, the number of social media users worldwide is now 396 crores. It is 52 percent of the world with 750 million population. But these 396 crore people have been cheated for a long time.
Celebrities also questioned
The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police has so far questioned 21 people. And in the coming days, the police can also interrogate other celebrities who are accused of buying fake followers. The Mumbai Police has divided this entire investigation into two parts. The first part will examine the companies that provide fake followers and the second part will investigate the celebrities and influencers who used to increase their influence on social media on the basis of these fake followers.
The Mumbai Police is questioning the officials of another such company which has been facing similar allegations. The name of this company is Chtrbox. This company does marketing of influencers of social media. Today, Mumbai Police has also questioned the CEO of this company Pranay Swaroop and his wife. However, the CEO of this company claims that the police have not called him for questioning, but for providing technical assistance in the investigation. But Crime Branch officials told Zee News that these people have been questioned under Section 160 of the CrPC.
This company was also accused of leaking data of 5 crore users of Instagram last year. Apart from this, Mumbai Police is also investigating a Bollywood PR agency which is accused of providing fake followers. Mumbai Police is seeking data from several social media platforms to check how many followers of these celebrities are fake and how real.
This is why fake followers are used
Now once again, briefly understand why these fake followers are used. In fact, any company wants to promote its brands with celebrities and influencers who have more number of followers. In such a situation, this advertisement or content reaches crores of people and in the lure of huge fees in return, these celebrities buy fake followers. When we did further research on this matter, we also found the rate card of these companies, which shows how much money was charged for fake followers and fake likes and comments.
For example, a company named Followers Cart used to charge Rs 187 for a fake follower, while a like is priced at Rs 117. Similarly, a comment could be purchased on Instagram for Rs 190. On LinkedIn, the cost of getting a fake follower was kept at Rs 700, then a fake subscriber of You Tube used to cost around 4 thousand rupees and on the same platform, a fake Like was priced at Rs 209. The price of one Like on Facebook was priced at Rs. 133 and the cost of getting a fake follower on Twitter was Rs. 243, while through this company a fake comment could be achieved by spending Rs.3000 on Twitter.
Half truth of popularity
But the surprising thing is that in most cases these fake followers are not bots but humans and when they follow you, then after that you cannot follow them back. Apart from this, Ghost followers are also used. These are social media accounts that have not been active for a long time and are only used to increase the number of followers. Fake news is spread using these fake followers, people are trolled and propagated.
So now you have understood that what you see on social media, whom you follow, whose likes you like, whose accounts and you tube channels you subscribe to, many of them show you the half truth of their popularity. Have been and you accept this half truth as absolute truth and fall prey to this scam.