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Mumbai Crime: Extortionists seizing control of actors’ social media accounts

Updated on: 27 February,2023 06:39 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Samiullah Khan | samiullah.khan@mid-day.com

Crooks demanding huge sums to relinquish them, threatening victims with morphed pics

Mumbai Crime: Extortionists seizing control of actors’ social media accounts

Vidya Prasad and Vinod Suryavanshi

A new kind of scam has come to the fore in which digital extortionists are hacking into the social media accounts of aspiring actors, actresses and models after sending them dubious links and demanding money to give them access to their own accounts.


A 30-year-old model and actress, Vidya Prasad, was recently targeted in this manner and she filed a complaint in this regard at the Versova police station on Friday. According to police sources, someone hacked her Instagram account on February 20. The individual then demanded Rs 50,000 to enable her to re-open the account.


When she refused, the hacker abused her and threatened to send out morphed obscene images to her Instagram followers. Vidya has acted in shows such as Barrister Babu, Meet, Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi and Ye Mohabbatein.


She told mid-day, “I received a link from a friend last month. He told me via a message that casting was taking place for the new session of the web-series Aashram and that he had filled in all the details on the link and that I should do the same. He also sent me a screenshot. I was unable to fill in the details. So later, I took his help and shared an OTP with him. After this, the account got hacked.”

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She added, “I then started receiving internet calls and messages, and the hacker demanded Rs 50,000 to give me access to my Instagram account. When I refused, he abused me and threatened to send morphed obscene images to my followers.” The actress then approached the police. “In the meantime, I wrote a mail to Instagram and informed them about what had happened. They helped me and I finally got access to my account four days later.”

“We have registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 385, 504 and 507, and Sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act,” said an officer of the Versova police station. Actors, actresses and models have millions of followers on their social media accounts where they upload most of their content to highlight their talents.

The social media accounts of actor Vinod Suryavanshi, 35, who has appeared in the web-series Jamtara and Cartel as well as several films, were similarly hacked in November 2022. He then approached the Versova police. “My accounts are still active but I don’t have access to them. The hacker is using them and sending messages to my followers and demanding money from them. I have opened new Instagram and Facebook accounts,” he stated.

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