The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has put an end to the deceptive marketing tactics of Devumi, a company that sold fake indicators of social media influence — like Twitter followers, retweets, YouTube subscribers and views, and more — which was also the subject of a 2018 investigation by The New York Times into the world of social media fraud. The FTC says it reached a $2.5 million settlement with Devumi’s owner and CEO German Calas, Jr., which requires the first $250,000 to be paid, with the rest deferred unless it’s discovered that Calas has misrepresented his financial situation.

According to the Times’ investigation, Devumi had made millions selling fake social media influence to celebrities, businesses or anyone else who wanted to appear more popular online.

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