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Beware of investment fraud exploiting deepfakes

Over the past few days we have been informed of an alarming upsurge in investment scams exploiting the image of celebrities such as the Prime Minister or the CEO of a Belgian bank (see example below). These scams use deepfakes technology to give the impression of sponsorship, which is in fact totally fraudulent.

What is a deepfake?

Deepfakes are a computer process in which a person's image is transformed and exploited to create a (more or less) credible "double" of the personality in question. This technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to create hyper-realistic images and videos. While there are legitimate uses for this technology, it is increasingly being exploited by fraudsters.

How the scam works

Scammers use deepfake technology to create videos or images in which these public figures appear to be giving a pep talk about an investment opportunity. These fake testimonials or interviews are then used to lend credibility to the scam (and lure victims into the trap).

Protect yourself

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from these scams:

  1. Check the source: Always check the source of any investment advice. Official statements by public figures or financial institutions are usually published on their official communication channels.
  2. Be sceptical: If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of any investment that promises high returns with little or no risk.
  3. Do your research: Before investing, do your own research. Seek information about the company and the investment opportunity from reliable sources and, above all, get professional advice.

Have you been swindled?

If you have lost money or been the victim of extortion, we advise you to report it to the police. You can report it to the local police where you live. 

Contact your bank and/or Card Stop on 078 170 170 if you have passed on banking information, if money is disappearing from your bank account or if you have transferred money to a fraudster. This way, any fraudulent transactions can be blocked.

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