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After singer, actor Koena Mitra files police complaint, says fake social media accounts created in her name

Recently, Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi had approached the police commissioner with a similar complaint, leading to the registration of an FIR against a 20-year-old man working at a company that provided “fake” followers for a fee.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: July 22, 2020 2:13:58 pm
Koena Mitra, Koena Mitra fake social media accounts, Mumbai police, actors fake social media accounts, Mumbai news, Indian express news In the case of Koena Mitra, the police have identified the person who created the accounts and are on the lookout for him.

Actor Koena Mitra last week approached the Mumbai Police alleging that someone had created fake social media accounts on Instagram and YouTube in her name to amass followers.

Recently, Bollywood playback singer Bhoomi Trivedi had approached the police commissioner with a similar complaint, leading to the registration of an FIR against a 20-year-old man working at a company that provided “fake” followers for a fee.

In the case of Mitra, the police have identified the person who created the accounts and are on the lookout for him. Besides, as part of the probe into what the police call the “fake influencers scam”, warrants have been issued against two companies that provide such services. Those running these companies are likely to be arrested soon.

An officer, who is part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the police to look into the scam, said that since Trivedi’s matter was highlighted in the media, many other celebrities have come forward with similar complaints.

Mitra had approached the Oshiwara police station on July 7. In her complaint, she said, “Recently, I was informed by my friends and followers that some unknown person has created a Instagram profile in the name of ‘Koena Mitra Official’ and used my random photographs… the fake profile is being actively used and images being uploaded to it…”

On the main profile page of her fake account, a person had mentioned sahilkhaneshas @gmail.com to be contacted for inquiries. In her complaint, Mitra said that she does not know of any such person. “There are more than 36,000 followers on this fake Instagram account. I am very scared, as it is very suspicious and harmful for my image and career,” she said.

Later, it came to light that someone had also created a fake YouTube page in her name and uploaded semi-pornographic content. Following this, the case was forwarded to the Crime Branch, where an SIT led by Assistant Inspector Sachin Vaze is investigating the matter. “We are looking for Sahil Khan, who has created this account. Also, we have issued warrants against two companies creating fake accounts and should be able to make arrests soon,” said an officer.

Commissioner Param Bir Singh had set up the SIT after the man arrested in the Trivedi case, Abhishek Daude, told the police that he alone had created five lakh “fake followers” for 176 clients, including film directors. The police have found over 100 companies provided such services and zeroed in on 56 such companies.

As per a study conducted by Swedish start-up A Good Company and analytics firm Hypeauditor, India comes third in terms of countries having the highest number of fake followers – 16 million – after the US and Brazil. In the last few years, fake followers have been used in India for everything – from trending movies before its release to boost popularity of celebrities and social media influencers.

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