Mumbai Police Uncovers Fake Social Media Influencer Scam, One Arrested

Mumbai Police Uncovers Fake Social Media Influencer Scam, One Arrested

The Central Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has uncovered a purported international crime syndicate that would create influencer accounts with fake followers using bots. The arrested, 21-year-old Abhishek Dawade is reportedly an employee for, one such site that promises to increase your followers on social media apps, particularly Instagram.

Dawade is said to be part of a bigger international group that simply creates fake online influence by using bots as additional followers along with comments and likes to make posts seem legitimate. 

The issue came to light when Bollywood singer Bhumi Trivedi filed a complaint with the local police after coming across a fake profile of herself containing her pictures and plenty of followers. Interestingly, the account also had lakhs of followers, and Trivedi mentioned in her complaint that the impostor was trying to leverage the inflated number of followers to conduct business deals in her name.

Read Also - Maharashtra Cyber Cell Issues Advisory Against The MITRON App

Nandkumar Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) said - “It has also been found that these type of fake profiles and followers are being used to create rumours and panic in the society. The investigation conducted so far by the CIU of Mumbai’s Crime Branch, estimated that more than 100 such Social Media Marketing (SMM) portals provide fake followers and all through fake identities and/or bots. The perpetrators are found operating through Indian as well as foreign internet networks and servers. 54 such Indian portals have been duly identified by the Crime Branch and efforts are on to bring the culprits to justice.”

Additionally, an SIT or Special Investigation Team of the Central Intelligence Unit will be set up under the supervision of Thakur to uncover other fraudsters in this social media scam. 

It is said that Dawade created more than 5 lakh followers for around 176 profiles on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Investigations have revealed that fake profiles are either created manually or via automated bots. 

This is the first time that an SIT has been set up to curb illegal social media marketing as per the laws laid down by the IT Act. It is said that law enforcement officials are also working with social media platforms directly to uncover more of these fraudsters.

Read Also  - Instagram Starts Rolling Out Its Reels Feature For Android, IOS In India

MumbaiLive would like to send you latest news updates