Glamour and the risk!

Acting in movies and becoming a star is every kid's dream and a lot of parents support their kids to achieve it. While glamour is something that never comes easy, there are a lot of times people run into trouble chasing it! 


Dowda and his acting offers

According to police, a 47-year-old man defrauded several people by presenting himself as a casting director who offers a break to minority children. He made fake websites of entertainment and advertising companies to trick the public. The accused has been incarcerated in the past and he has several cases registered against him. The attacker sent bulk SMSs to potential victims and got their contact information from malls.

Former model Apurva Ashwin Dowda, 47, is a member of the CINTAA writers association of India and has previously acted in assignments for several brands. In terms of the police report, Apurva sent a few youngsters to shopping malls in search of good-looking models or children. To defraud them, he also collected information about doctors, car owners, and well-off people.

Apurva's method of operation involved sending bulk messages to the numbers, claiming to be casting TV ads and serials, requesting personal information and telephone numbers from those interested, such as children between 2 and 14. As a way to establish his authenticity, he included fake websites he had created to deceive the victims.

People paid him ₹32,69,440 to cast the kids in lead roles and he made money off of it. In this situation, where physical meetings were impossible due to the pandemic, he cheated many people this way. Officials say Apurva has defrauded at least 80 people of 2 crores. He used this money to change his location and his vehicles and avoid being traced.

The company Apurva owns in Dubai is also under scrutiny for such fraud. The criminal used the scheme because he was in debt and wanted to recover the money.

In addition to the indictment filed against Apurva under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act, an investigation is still underway, and police have called on citizens to come forward if they have been scammed by Apurva.

What to do?

  1. Find out ways in which the seller can be verified - is contact information listed, have other people had a good experience?
  2. Why is the seller asking for Advance Payment? Especially without payment methods that don't offer protection
  3. Ask the seller how you can trust them and ask for proof
  4. Think twice before you pay someone online. And maybe thrice if that person you are paying a sum to is overseas. These people could have saved themselves from that fraud if they had used Vouch for it. 

This is Fraud Chronicle#33. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and frauds that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about getting paid for your hard work!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at