Cybersecurity firm Cybertrace has issued a warning about a convincing deep fake video featuring Australian mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.
The deep fake, detected on Facebook, shows Forrest promoting a fake crypto trading platform, urging users to sign up for a fraudulent service promising substantial profits. Cybertrace’s CEO, Dan Halpin, speculates that the scammers behind the deep fake are likely well-versed in sales and marketing, making the deceptive video more convincing.
The video, which manipulates Forrest’s behavior and body language from a previous fireside chat, appeared on Facebook on January 27. The altered video claims to offer a partnership opportunity in the “world’s smartest stock and cryptocurrency trading software,” guaranteeing significant profits regardless of market conditions.
Forrest, a former CEO of Fortescue Metals Group and one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs with a net worth of $29.4 billion, concludes the scam footage by urging viewers to sign up before it’s too late. Cybertrace emphasizes the need for caution, particularly as deep fake fraud incidents are on the rise.
This incident follows a recent spike in deep fake fraud globally, with high-profile individuals such as Taylor Swift, Gina Rinehart, Dick Smith, and Allison Langdon being targeted. The trend coincides with Australians reporting over $2 billion in losses to scams in 2022, according to the country’s competition and consumer regulator. Additionally, investment scams involving cryptocurrency payments saw a 162.4% increase from 2021, with losses totaling $148.3 million in 2022.
The emergence of deep fakes raises concerns about the potential for deception in various sectors, prompting calls for increased awareness and regulatory measures. The use of deep fake technology for fraudulent activities underscores the need for individuals to remain vigilant in the face of evolving cyber threats.