Be alert against con gangs, Shamna Kasim's advice to newcomers

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As the investigation is progressing in the blackmailing case filed by actress Shamna Kasim, more intriguing details are coming out. Meanwhile, Shamna also known as Poorna admits that she didn’t know that a racket was behind the extortion gang that tried to con her when she decided to go to the police. The actress says that it is for the first time that she has experienced something like this, even though she had been in the industry for more than a decade.

In a special interview to Manorama Online, Shamna admits that she never thought an extortion gang would target someone like her.

The trap

Shamna says people often call her saying that they could grab offers from Bollywood for her. However, she says she always could recognize tricksters like these and would brush them off. “It is baffling that someone could cheat by winning the trust of my entire family. This proposal came from my relatives’ friends. We spoke for just over a week. He introduced himself as Anwar. They even spoke to my parents and my elder brother as well. They created a bond with everyone by speaking over the phone. We have even spoken to Anwar’s parents, brother, sister and even to his sister’s daughter. But they were not ready to show themselves via video call. We just thought that they weren’t comfortable with it,” says Shamna.

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The actress says the gang spoke with extreme maturity and dignity over the phone. She admits it is difficult for her to believe that it was just a fake show. She began getting doubtful when they asked for money. The actress even told this to her mother.

Shamna’s family didn’t give them the money just then. “They had told that they would visit our house soon. So, we thought that we would proceed with the proposal after meeting them. We didn’t, however, behave as if we had doubts. When we saw each other, we realized that something wasn’t adding up. They seemed uneasy and left our house when we began repeatedly asking for their details. We filed the police complaint after this,” recalls Shamna.

Threatening messages

Shamna began receiving messages threatening her with dire consequences when the gang realized that her family had informed the police. They sent voice messages like, ‘We will see you when you get out of your house. Do you think you are a great actress? You would perform on the stage, right? Be careful when you are messing with us. There is no point in crying after something has happened’. They also threatened that she would face the consequences if she filed a police complaint and that it would be safer for her to be silent. Shamna and her family had handed over all these messages to the police.

“We have all the evidence. I couldn’t be silent after all these. When they began threatening me, I told them clearly that they have messed with the wrong person. Many are coming out and filing complaints about similar blackmailing cases after I approached the police. I couldn’t have succumbed to their threats and stay silent. I understand the problems that I may face due to this. The media would know about it and people would keep asking. But, how can I be sure that the culprits wouldn’t attack me even if I say nothing. So, I decided to face it courageously. My family too supported me. I don’t think that such blackmailing cases would cease to exist just because I have filed a police complaint. But, it would at least stop this gang from conning others anymore,” Shamna makes her stand clear.

ALSO READ: What forced Shamna Kasim to break down in public


Be alert

“Cinema is a world of fantasy. Lots of people would approach you saying that they would find us offers to act or do photo shoots. This has happened in the initial stages of my career as well. But, I always say ‘yes’ only after enquiring a bit about the person who called me. Earlier, both my parents used to accompany me to work. It is only recently that I began going alone for my programs and shoots. There are lots of young girls who reach Kochi and share a flat with friends hoping to land a role in the movies. Most of them are youngsters who don’t have any real experiences. So, my advice would be to enquire about the person who calls you before saying ‘yes’ to anything. At least you could enquire within your friends circle. This may help you from falling prey to con artists. There is a limit for organizations like AMMA to interfere in cases like this. The newcomers do not take membership as soon as they come into the industry. So, it is always better to be personally alert,” concludes Shmna. 

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