Earlier this month, the Mumbai Police had busted a global racket involving the creation of fake social media profiles and other fraudulent activities in the social media marketing business. One person was also arrested in connection with the case. Further investigation had revealed that the accused was part of a larger international fraud racket, which involves creating crores of fake identities on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and other social media platforms and making fake performance statistics like fake comments, fake views, fake followers, fake likes etc.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had thereafter formed a Special Investigation Team of Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) and Cyber Cell under Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection), Nandkumar Thakur, to probe the illegal aspects of social media marketing businesses operating in violation of the IT Act.
The Mumbai Police had yesterday arrested one more person in connection with the case. Kashif Mansoor (29), a civil engineer, was arrested for allegedly selling fake followers. According to the Mumbai Police, Mansoor has sold 2.3 crores fake followers so far. Last year, an analysis from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) had claimed that Bollywood actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone are among the 10 celebrities who have maximum numbers of ‘bots’ on Instagram. With 58 per cent of fake Instagram followers, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was at the top of the list.