Mumbai, July 24: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday said that many PR agencies provide "fake" followers to people including Bollywood celebrities and such followers are used for trolling someone and steal data on social media. He said that Maharashtra Police will probe into the matter. Mumbai Police Bust International Racket Involved in Creation of Fraudulent Social Media Profiles, Sale of Fake Followers And Likes.

"Several PR agencies give fake followers, called as bots, to Bollywood celebrities or some other big people. These followers are not only used in increasing publicity, but also used to troll someone and steal data, so state Police will probe the matter," Deshmukh said.

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Many high profile personalities, including Bollywood celebrities, sportsperson and builders are under scanner the racket that allegedly involves international companies. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the "fake followers" scam.

The matter came to light after Mumbai Police arrested a man identified as Abhishek Dinesh Daude for creating fake social media profiles. "We have investigated and found as many as 54 firms involved in this racket. SIT comprising Crime Branch along with Cyber Cell has been formed which will help in investigating this case," Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Vinay Kumar Chaubey was quoted as saying.

The racket surfaced after singer Bhumi Trivedi found a fake profile of her name on social media. The person who created the fake profile would chat with others and would then use these screenshots to increase the followers. Investigation revealed that 176 celebrities paid money to increase followers.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 24, 2020 11:57 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website