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Deep fake video of Australian billionaire promoting crypto scam sparks concern

TL;DR

  • A deep fake video of Aussie billionaire Twiggy Forrest promoting a fake crypto scheme raises concerns about scammers’ skills.
  • High-profile Australians, like Gina Rinehart, are also being targeted in the deep fake trend, amid $2 billion in scam losses in 2022, with a big chunk involving crypto.
  • U.S. lawmakers are looking to make deep fake image production illegal, showing the increasing worry about this type of deception.

Cybersecurity firm Cybertrace has issued a warning regarding a highly convincing, deep fake video featuring Australian mining magnate and businessman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest promoting a fake cryptocurrency trading platform on social media. 

The video, circulating on Facebook, attempts to lure users into signing up for the fraudulent platform, claiming that it can make “ordinary people” thousands of dollars daily.

A convincing deception

Cybertrace’s CEO, Dan Halpin, expressed his concerns about the deep fake, suggesting that the scammers behind it seem to possess a strong understanding of sales and marketing tactics. He commented, “The video is long and in many ways repetitive, which can be quite convincing, and appears to have been created by someone with knowledge of sales and marketing.”

The fake video skillfully manipulates Forrest’s behavior and body language, using footage from a “fireside chat” conducted by Rhodes Trust in October. In the video, an AI-altered version of Forrest assures viewers that the cryptocurrency trading software has been generating profits of $700 to $2,200 a day for ordinary people for nine months, without any issues.

Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest – A successful Australian entrepreneur

Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the subject of the deep fake video, is a former CEO of Western Australian mining company Fortescue Metals Group. With a net worth of $29.4 billion, according to Bloomberg, he ranks as one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs. His prominence and credibility make him an attractive target for scammers looking to deceive unsuspecting individuals.

The deceptive video concludes with Forrest urging viewers to join the platform before it’s too late, adding to the urgency of the scam.

A growing concern: Deep fakes targeting high-profile individuals

Deep fake technology has garnered the attention of lawmakers in the United States, especially following the widespread circulation of fake photos of celebrities like Taylor Swift. U.S. Representative Joe Morelle has been advocating for legislation that would criminalize the production of deep fake images within the country.

In Australia, other prominent figures like Gina Rinehart, the country’s richest person, entrepreneur Dick Smith, and TV host Allison Langdon have also been targeted by scammers creating deep fake videos. Cybertrace noted this concerning trend of impersonating high-profile Australian businesspeople and politicians.

Soaring scam losses in Australia

The emergence of deep fake scams coincides with a significant rise in reported losses to scams in Australia in recent years. According to the country’s competition and consumer regulator, Australians reported losing over $2 billion (3.1 billion Australian dollars) to scams in 2022 alone. 

Furthermore, a staggering $148.3 million (221.3 million Australian dollars) was lost in investment scams involving cryptocurrency as the payment method in 2022, marking a 162.4% increase from the previous year.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Ibrahim Abdulaziz

A fervent advocate, Ibrahim shares his wealth of knowledge on crypto and blockchain technology in an engaging and informative style. He frequents places where influencers gather for his next scoop. His vision is that the decentralized nature, security features, and potential for financial inclusion will drive widespread massive crypto adoption.

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