For a few years now I have been hearing about incidents of persons claiming to be associated with me contacting people through whatsapp, social media and phonecalls and attempting to exploit them for their own benefit. I am very fortunate to have the so much goodwill extended to me but please BEWARE of such fraudsters & name-droppers. Please view them with caution and do not engage with them because people who are in my circle me will NOT indulge in such behaviour.
In the past I have issued social media posts warning people but I could not raise a Police complaint as I did not receive firsthand evidence.
A few months ago I was informed that ‘a lady from abroad’ was calling young women posing as Anjali Menon and proposing to cast them in an upcoming film starring Prithviraj / Suriya.
When these people contacted me for a clarification I requested for emails and evidence about this. I received Tru-caller screen shots of ‘Anjali Menon Director’ calling and phone recordings where this person was having long conversations confirming their identity as me and convincing them to act in ‘glamorous’ roles. Please note: these conversations were definitely not professional or the kind I would have with any potential actor.
Once I received these, the matter was reported to Kerala Police and the Police Cyber Cell has been very proactive in tracing the calls and identifying the source. My gratitude to them for that. Subsequently an individual has been arrested as given in the Kerala Police social media post here. The police have stated that the arrested person is a man who was based in Kerala and had allegedly used a phone app to deceive others about the identity and location of the caller.
Source: Kerala Police Facebook Page
Our casting & crewing process is professional and transparent and announced publicly. You do not have to compromise your safety or rights during the selection. So I have few precautionary steps to suggest :
- When the person speaks to you about casting/ crewing for a film and then tells you to not inform anyone else or hide it from your family & friends or indulges in any unprofessional talk, demands or behaviour – this is definitely wrong and does not have to be accepted. Please report the matter to the nearest authorities immediately with evidence.
- If you need a clarification whether a person is really representing me, please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org with the details you know. If the person is authorized by me, you will receive a confirmation email reply from our team.
Thank you to the authorities for the action taken and doing the needful. Also gratitude to the individuals who took the effort to contact me and report the matter with evidence. You are the best examples!
It may be noted that in future too, any actions involving my name that are infringing my rights or exploitative will be reported to the Police and strict legal action will be pursued.
To be safe, the steps are the same for everyone. Recognize. Report. Prevent.