Actor Sidharth Malhotra's Fan Scammed Of Rs 50 lakh: How To Not Fall For Such Frauds?

The scammers’ approach was methodical as they maintained consistent communication, providing updates and reassurances to the fans. They even shared photoshopped photos and documents to substantiate their claims. What are the cautions you must take to prevent falling from such scams?
Image Credit: Sidmalhotra via Instagram
Image Credit: Sidmalhotra via Instagram

Are you a celebrity fan? It’s time to check the limits you would go to prove that. A story of celebrity admiration turned into a cautionary tale for a US-based fan of Bollywood actor Sidharth Malhotra. The celebrity fan was duped Rs 50 Lakh in an elaborate scam via social media. The fan, Minoo Vasudevan (Social media account: desi_girl334 on X) posted a detailed narration explaining how she was manipulated and scammed in stages. Followed by an outrage on multiple social media platforms, Sidharth Malhotra took to Instagram, sharing a note that asked fans to stay away from such frauds.

“Aliza told me fake stories” - How did the scam ensue?

Calling out a fan page (@sidmalhotra.updates), Minoo Vasudevan said Rs 50 lakh was ‘stolen’ from her between October and December 2023. She has accused two admins of this page, named ‘Aliza and Husna Parveen’, as masterminds behind this fraud. She also alleged that the scammers stole Rs 10,500 from her friend who lives in the UK.

Vasudevan shared a few screenshots of her conversation with the scammers wherein she was told that Sid’s life was in danger because of his wife Kiara Advani - a popular Bollywood actress.

Aliza and Parveen told Vasudevan that Kiara forced Sidharth to marry her by threatening to kill his family. Among many lives, she was told that the actor’s bank account was seized and his family was threatened with murder.

In a ‘save Sid’ campaign Vasudevan was introduced to members of a fake PR team of Malhotra and Advani, named Deepak Dubey and Radhika, respectively. “They would tell me inside info of Sid and Kiara’s every move,” she said.

Vasudevan paid them weekly charges to get inside info and speak to Sid. She bought gift hampers, and paid expenses to ‘save Sid from death and torture’ which led her to a total loss of Rs 50 lakh.

The scammers’ approach was methodical as they maintained consistent communication, providing updates and reassurances to Vasudevan, and even shared photoshopped photos and documents to substantiate their claim.

“To All My Fans” - Sidharth Malhotra

In a post on Instagram, actor Sidharth Malhotra said that neither he nor any members of his family and support team were involved in this scam. Sending out a message of assurance to all his fans, Malhotra said “I urge all of you to exercise caution when dealing with such matters. If you receive any suspicious requests, report them to the appropriate authorities and avoid spreading false information.”

Stay Ahead Of Such Frauds: Cautions You Must Take

Verify Sources: When dealing with matters that are way out of your social circle, such as the inside or core relations of any actor/actress you follow, be suspicious and verify sources of any individual who claims they know your celebrity love.

Check Official Channels: Anybody with enough social media following and money at hand can buy a ‘blue tick’ for their social media pages. When you are dealing with such fan pages, set the default of your mental status at ‘zero trust’. You should check if these pages are official, meaning are they the first announcers vis-a-vis statements of actors or just a page that posts updates which is already a piece of popular news.

Protect Personal Information: Never share your personal information with any social media fan page regardless of its blue stick of official status. If the scammers fail to dupe you with stories, they may take leverage of your personal information at hand.

Reporting Is Must: If you suspect a fraud, immediately report it to the relevant authorities, block such channels, and alert the celebrity’s official channels to prevent others from falling victim to the same just like Vasudeva did on social media.

The incident is a reminder of how blind fan following can rob you of money and land you in financial trouble. The fans, who believed they were connecting with their favourite actor, were scammed in methodical ways. It is important to be suspicious of all social media-related messages you get, especially if there is no official source to back the same.

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