A local businessman is under investigation by the New York Attorney General, after a New York Times article accused the man of stealing social media profiles, and creating fake social media accounts.
His business, according to the article, sells followers to give the illusion the buyers had more influence on social media.
On the company’s website it lists a New York address, but according to records, it’s actually in West Palm Beach.
In a nondescript office space, above Rocco’s Tacos on Clematis Street, inside suite 206, is a company called Bytion.
We’re here because we want to talk to the German Calas, Devumi’s owner. Bytion is its parent company.
Alan Crowetz is WPTV's tech expert and owns infostream.cc.
“It doesn’t surprise me that somebody really savvy is on Clematis Street right in the heart of West Palm,” Crowetz said of the bustling technology scene here.
According to the New York Times, Devumi has more than 200,00 customers, including TV stars, athletes and pastors, who paid for more Twitter followers, YouTube views and endorsements on LinkedIn.
Some followers were stolen accounts, others were just fake robots. Each follow cost about a penny each. The bigger the following, the more influence.
“People want to know why is this guy so popular? I could give a squat about the Kardashian’s but I know who they are because I see a million other people following them,” Crowetz said.
The 27-year-old, self described serial entrepreneur wasn’t at the office. He didn’t respond to email or a phone call.
But just today, according to state records, Bytion’s address changed to one in Denver.
There’s not much you can do to avoid becoming a victim, Crowetz said, beside try to catch it early and report it.