Deepfake or synthetic videos are a scary new form of technology that criminals are using to commit blackmail and identity theft cyber scams. Deepfakes have been around for a while with people using them for entertainment purposes and you've probably already seen this type of technology in use such as popular deep fake videos featuring Jim Carrey's face replacing Jack Nicholson's in The Shining or Jerry Seinfield's face replacing the man hiding in the bathroom in Pulp Fiction.
There are tons of examples of deep fakes floating on the web that are entertaining, but now you need to beware because criminals with the help of AI are able to create videos so convincing, they can fool anyone.
What is a Deep Fake Video?
Deepfake videos use an artificial intelligence (AI) technology called deep learning. Deep learning works by collecting information to 'get smarter' about the task it's set to perform. In the case of deep fake video software programs, it's designed to analyze data when it comes to facial structure and facial movements in the video. When the deep fake software gathers enough information, it can take existing photos and superimpose them over an existing video and match out the face structure and movements generating a realistic video that is fake. What is even more troublesome, with current AI technology you can generate one of these videos in as little as 8 minutes.
How Can Criminals Scam You?
One of the things that makes deep fakes scary is there are a number of programs that are easily available on the internet, and you don't need a high-end graphics computer or extensive video editing knowledge to create fake videos. Also, in our digital world, criminals or even malicious strangers can easily get video and audio of you from online sources such as social media.
Types of Deepfake Scams:
Phishing Scams. Phishing is the act of acting as if you're an authority figure or a trusted business. Criminals can create videos that look as if they come from a trusted source to scam you out of money.
Blackmail. Criminals can threaten to send suggestive and inappropriate videos that have been altered to have your face to your friends and family unless you pay the demanded ransom.
Identity Theft. Criminals can capture images, video and audio of you on social media and then use that information to trick people into giving out your personal information that criminals can use to assume your identity.
Workplace Phishing Scams. In this world of virtual working, it's easy for a criminal to get information photos of your workforce, this can then be used to trick you into giving up critical company information.
Political Scams: Political deep fake scams involve using deep fake technology to create fake videos or audio clips of political figures. These videos or audio clips are used to spread false information or to change public opinion.
How to protect yourself from AI-deep fake scams.
This new wave of tech scams goes way beyond avoiding clicking on links and spotting when a phone scam appears on your phone. It's important that you pay double attention when trying to avoid deepfake scams as they appear. The best thing you can do is to trust your instincts. if it doesn't feel right to you, then it probably isn't. Other things to look for are:
The lips aren't in sync with the video.
You notice that the subject in the video has a jerky movement.
Facial skin tone doesn't match up to other body parts.
There are noticeable shifts in video lighting from one frame to the next
Strange blinking or no blinking at all.
Good basic security procedures will always be effective at stopping all cyber threats.
Other things you should implement are:
Make sure you, your family, and your co-workers know how to spot a deep fake.
Learn how to identify reliable news sources and don't rely only on social media for your news.
Become a skeptic when it comes to voicemail and videos.
Always make sure your files are automatically backed up on all of your devices. This will help you if you or your company falls for a ransomware attack.
Stop using passwords and start using passphrases for all of your online accounts.
Use different passwords for all of your online accounts to keep them safe from the hands of criminals. If someone gets into one of your online accounts, you don't want them to be able to get into your other accounts.
Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to stay safe from the dangers of Deep Fake AI Scams. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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