Hundreds of Millions of Fraudulent and Clone Accounts Plague Social Media - Tips for Identification
According to an eChatter newsletter, fraudulent accounts deployed by entrepreneurs, criminals and governments have taken over social media platforms. These accounts, more commonly known as bots, are automated and designed to simulate actual humans, sway advertising audiences, reshape political debates, defraud businesses, and ruin reputations.
A company by the name of Devumi has been named as one of the largest culprits of social media fraud and has collected millions of dollars in return. According to eChatter, “Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online. Drawing on an estimate stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, the company has provided customer with more than 200 million Twitter followers, a New York Times investigation found.”
The investigation also identified that Devumi has over 200,000 customers to include “reality television stars, professional athletes, comedians, TED speakers, pastors and models,” according to court and business records. In most cases, it appears that customer purchased their own “followers.” However, additional cases show that their followers were purchased by others, to include employees, family members or friends, and agents/public relations firms. And it doesn’t stop at Twitter followers. Devumi also offers views on YouTube, LinkedIn endorsements, etc.
However, German Calas, Devumi’s founder, has completely denied the allegations that his company provides “fake followers” for profit, and also claims to have no knowledge of stolen social identities.
Approximate Fraudulent/Clone Accounts on Facebook and Twitter:
60 million Facebook accounts – the largest social media platform!
48 million Twitter accounts – which is nearly 15 percent!
View the infographic below to help identify fraudulent accounts: