Aussies lose $8 million to deepfake celebrity investment scams

Aussies lose $8 million to deepfake celebrity investment scams

Australia’s consumer watchdog is warning the public to beware of fake news articles and deepfake videos of celebrities and other public figures that endorse and link to online investment trading platforms.

Australians lost more than $8 million to scams linked to online investment trading platforms largely advertised on social media.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Catriona Lowe said there were 400 reports made to Scamwatch in the last year alone.

READ MORE: Millions to get boosted payments with indexation this month

“We are urging Australians to take their time and do their research before taking up an investment opportunity – particularly those seen on social media,” Lowe said.

“We know of an Australian man who lost $80,000 in cryptocurrency after seeing a deepfake Elon Musk video interview on social media, clicking the link and registering his details through an online form.

“He was provided with an account manager and an online dashboard where he could see his investment supposedly making huge returns.

“But when he tried to withdraw the money – he was locked out of his account.”

International scammers have been creating fake news articles and deepfake videos to convince people that celebrities and well-known public figures are making huge sums of money using online investment trading platforms.

The videos circulate widely on social media and other video-sharing platforms.

Many of them claim that the online trading platform uses artificial intelligence or other emerging technologies such as quantum computing to generate high returns for investors.

READ MORE: ‘I love you’: The last three words Hannah spoke to her mum before her tragic death

Reports to Scamwatch indicate the most prolific online investment trading platform scam appears under the brand Quantum AI.

Others include Immediate Edge, Immediate Connect, Immediate X3, and Quantum Trade Wave.

The National Anti-Scam Centre’s investment scam fusion cell, co-led by the ACCC and ASIC, has been active in disrupting investment scams such as online investment trading platform scams.

“In addition to referring these scam ads to social media platforms for removal, the fusion cell has developed a trial method for blocking payments to these scams,” Lowe said.

“It has been encouraging to see an overall downward trend in losses reported to Scamwatch to investment scams since the establishment of the fusion cell in July 2023.

“The ACCC and ASIC will continue to work together as part of the National Anti-Scam Centre’s efforts to stop scammers from harming Australians.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *