With the world moving to the digital space, there have been innumerable technological advancements. And while they make our lives a lot easier, they could also pose a threat to our very existence. One such devious online scam is “sextortion.” Sexual extortion or ‘sextortion’ is a form of blackmail where someone threatens to share a nude or sexual image or video of you unless you give in to their demands.
Did you know that India witnesses 500 cases of sextortion every day? Sextortion scams are the biggest threats on the internet, and Epic On’s new web series “Video Cam Scam” is an edge-of-the-seat thriller that tackles this subject. Starring Amruta Khanvilkar and Rajneish Duggall in the lead, this series revolves around a husband and wife battling the dark and deadly forces behind the shocking online crime.
The Thrilling Plot
“Video Cam Scam” follows Vinay Kumar, an honest and upright police officer, and Priya, his loving and supporting wife. Vinay unknowingly falls into the trap of a video calling app run by Sonu, Titu, and Sweety who carry out sextortion scams. They record people indulging themselves, morph faces on videos, and extort money from them.
The picture-perfect couple is pulled into the sinful world of sextortion when Vinay gets trapped in this wicked web. Will Vinay be proven innocent? Can Priya save her husband? Or will the scammers get away with it yet again? “Video Cam Scam” uncovers all of these questions and more.
This thrilling series also stars Farnaz Shetty, Kunj Anand, Rahul Singh, Aradhana Sharma and Pritam Singh in pivotal roles. The Social Nation team had a very insightful chat with the super-talented cast of “Video Cam Scam” – Amruta, Rajneish, Kunj, Farnaz, and Aradhana. Read on to know more.
Given how this scam targets the unaware and is predominantly carried out online, what advice would you like to give the younger generation to not fall into such scams?
Amruta: Meri niece toh teen saal ki hai abhi and usse Instagram kaha hai Facebook kahan hai phone mein sab pata hai. Sab aa jata hai usko. So, main toh bas yahi chahungi ke ye phone ka jo bhi addiction hai ye kam ho. Rajneish says this dialogue, “these apps are for us we are not for these apps.“
Rajneish: These apps should be used in such a way that we use them we should not be getting used by it, which is happening a lot. And that’s what I keep telling Tia, my daughter and I tell all of us also, that we should try and use it to our benefit and not let it use us, otherwise we are doomed.
What is your personal takeaway from the show?
Amruta: Hum aaj tak sunte aa rahe the ki ye [sextortion] jo kahin toh ho raha hai – Russia mein ya kahin aur, voh aaj ghar ke bohot nazdik aa gaya hai. I really feel that it is very important for the legal system to have some kind of system jiske vajah se ye naa ho. Because agar app individually pakadne jaoge logon ko toh it’s next to impossible in a country where there are millions of people. So it’s not about iss insaan ne kiya ya ye nameless, faceless insaan ne kiya but I think there has to be a system which stops all this.
Kunj: Sabse pehle toh itni sundar starcast ke saath meine kaam kiya hai, sab bohot hi informative aur knowledgeable log hai. Algorithms ke views se aur basic coding ke knowledge se ye sab itna easy ho gaya hai. Ek hacker banna zyaada easy hai. Ye cheez jo potentially itni dangerous hai, easily available hai. Aap isko aasani se seekh sakte ho, ye mere liye ek shock tha. Tabhi 24-25 saal ke bache isme indulge kar rahe hai. Reason koi bhi ho sakti hai – kisi ki job nahi lag rahi, kisi ko samajh nahi aa raha life mein kya karna hai or quick money. Very normal people are carrying out these scams.
Farnaz: My takeaway from here is the experience that I have gotten as an artist, to see that dark side of the world and to live that, which I wasn’t that much aware of. To not commit something like that because a lot of times as an artist, hum bohot saare characters ki qualities apne andar dal dete hai subconsciously. Aapka kuch as an actor chala jaata hai uss character mein aur kuch character ka aapke indar aa jaata hai but you know I don’t want to take away from my character for sure.
Aradhana: Personally, what I, Aradhna or Sonu, felt ke you should have your boundaries jo ki kisi ko hurt na kar sake. You cannot hurt anybody, you cannot harm anyone.
What do you think should be the audience’s takeaway from “Video Cam Scam” about sextortion?
Rajneish: Audience ko ye seekhne milega ki jitne bhi scams hai, jo bhi sextortion se related hai, like morphing, deepfake – ispe aapko awaaz uthaani chahiye. You have to have a voice, you have to share it with someone, otherwise you will get depressed. You might have suicidal thoughts. So you need to stand up and not be a victim.
Amruta: I feel aapne kitni bhi galtiyan ki ho, and it is not just about these scams, no matter what you have done in your life, nothing is bigger than your life. The moment you think about taking your life, aap victim nahi ho, aapki family victimize hoti hai. Jo aapke peeche reh jaate hai, unke upar bohot zyaada asar ho jaata hai. So don’t just think about yourself, think about your family too.
Kunj: Ye jo smartphones hain, unka please aap sambhaal ke istemaal kijiye. Abhi bhi hum dekh hi rahe hai ke jiss barein mein hum sochte hain, usi ki ads aa jaati hai phone par. Agar hamare parents jo technologically itne savvy nahi hai, voh ye phones use kar rahe hai toh unko aware karna hamara kaam hai. Bachon ke haathon se bhi phone lena hamara hi kaam hai.
Farnaz: For the audience, there is so much of information and so much awareness and education that we are giving through this subject. I feel awareness on such scams will get normalised after the launch of our series.
Aradhana: You need to have that awareness and at the same time you need to have that support for your people and the rest jinhone ye saari cheezen face ki hai. Voh ek acceptance attitude lao. [These scams] are there. Ye hoga aage bhi and agar ye ho raha hai toh please uske liye lado. Koi ghin mat rakho, don’t make those weird faces or weird opinions mat do. So, open-minded hone ki zarurat hai.
“Video Cam Scam” marks Epic On’s second big release post the success of ‘Tatlubaaz’. After starting with an entertaining bang, Epic On is back to capture eyeballs again with a scintillating tale of crime, love, sin and justice in the digital world. Released on 12th January, you can binge “Video Cam Scam” on the platform.