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Deepfake Alert: Fraudulent Crypto Platform Promoted in Doctored Clip of Andrew Forrest on Facebook

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A doctored clip of Australian mining magnate and businessman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest on Facebook represents the newest addition to a series of deepfakes hijacking images of figures in deceptive advertisements, eroding trust in the media.

Cybersecurity firm Cybertrace flagged the video Forrest, which appears to be promoting a fake crypto trading platform.

Deepfake Deception

The footage surfaced on Facebook, encouraging viewers to enroll in a fraudulent platform claiming to generate thousands of dollars daily for “regular individuals.” Targets are directed to a site named “Quantum AI,” which, according to Cybertrace, has gained notoriety as a hub for scams and financial deceit.

The video altered Forrest’s actions and mannerisms from a “fireside chat” hosted by the Rhodes Trust in October 2023. Cybertrace identified the deepfake on Facebook on January 27th, where an AI-modified rendition of the billionaire is depicted endorsing a fraudulent crypto trading platform.

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company ‘Meta’ implemented a prohibition on deepfakes in early 2020, however, doctored clips continue to wreak havoc targetting unassuming users on the social media platforms. However, Forrest slammed the social media giant for not doing enough to prevent scams.

The billionaire has criminal charges pending against Facebook for another crypto advertising scam that allegedly exploited his image. Expressing his frustration, Forrest stated,

“Facebook does nothing – that’s what I hope the legal actions I started will address, to make social media companies liable for the negligent way they run their ad platforms. I commenced legal proceedings almost two years ago out of concern for the innocent Australians being scammed on Facebook.”

Deepfake Scammers on Rise

MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor recently disclosed that his team is working to remove around 80 counterfeit videos every day, many of which are designed to endorse different Bitcoin scams. Additionally, modified videos featuring well-known figures like billionaire Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, have also emerged on various social media.

Some of these videos contain links to investment schemes, unauthorized products, or unrelated e-commerce sites that vanish after a few days.

Artificial intelligence (AI) generated deepfake videos are slowly emerging as one of the top security threats across the world. Data from Sumsub indicated that the proportion of deepfakes in North America saw a significant increase from 2022 to Q1 2023.

In the United States, the proportion surged from 0.2% to 2.6%, while in Canada, it rose from 0.1% to 4.6%. Concurrently, instances of printed forgeries, accounting for 4% – 5% of all fraud in 2022, plummeted to 0% in the last quarter.

“Anti-fraud and verification providers who do not constantly work to update deepfake detection technologies are lagging behind, putting both businesses and users at risk. Upgrading deepfake detection technology is an essential part of modern effective verification and anti-fraud systems.”

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