By Emma Grey Ellis writing for WIRED
From the article,
The fake followers would fit in anywhere: padding out an obscure microinfluencer's ranks, creating the illusion of customers for a would-be T-shirt seller, skulking among legions of real fans on celebrity accounts like Ellen DeGeneres'. A report by cybersecurity firm Cheq projects that these fake fans will cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019 alone. In the influencer economy, you're paid in part for the size of your audience, which means that, if an influencer's account is swarming with fake followers, brands are paying extra to reach people who don't exist.