Fake followers scam: Rapper Badshah questioned by Mumbai Police
Rapper Badshah (aka Aditya Prateek Singh) was on Friday questioned by the Mumbai Police in connection with the ongoing probe into a racket that allegedly creates and sells bogus followers and likes on social media platforms. Badshah arrived at the office of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) around 12:30 pm and stepped out at 9:45 pm, officials said. Here are more details on this.
He has been summoned on Saturday as well
Friday marked the second consecutive day that the 34-year-old singer recorded his statement in the case. He was interrogated on Thursday as well. Badshah has been summoned for further questioning on Saturday afternoon too, officials said. The singer, known for tracks such as Paagal and Genda Phool, was asked about millions of views on his music videos and his social media followers, per reports.
Scam surfaced after complaint from singer Bhoomi Trivedi
The alleged scam first came to light after Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police about a fake social media profile created in her name. Thereafter, during investigation, the CIU unearthed a large-scale racket wherein fake profiles are created and sold to celebrities and social media personalities, who use them to inflate their presence on online platforms.
In July, leading SMM company's CEO was questioned
Earlier in July, the CIU recorded statements of Chtrbox CEO Pranay Swaroop and his wife Julie Kriegshaber in connection with this case. Chtrbox is among the leading social media marketing companies in the country. Meanwhile, police officials have earlier said that the matter must be taken seriously as these profiles are also used to spread fake news and misinformation on the internet.
These bots are used for data theft, said Maharashtra minister
In fact, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has claimed that such fake followers are also used for online trolling and data theft. "Several PR agencies give fake followers, called bots, to Bollywood celebrities or some other big people. Such bots are used for trolling or data theft. Hence, the Maharashtra Police will probe into this," he said in an earlier statement.
20 people questioned; 54 firms under police's scanner
At least 54 cyber firms that allegedly create fake followers are under the police's scanner, officials have said. The cops have so far recorded statements of nearly 20 people in the case. Two persons were arrested too. According to some reports, Bollywood stars such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone could also be summoned in the case.