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Woman Loses $25,000 in a Crypto Scam Facilitated by Deepfake

The woman invested for a month in a platform believing it to be a legitimate and safe site.
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by ZHENYU LUO
Cover Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by ZHENYU LUO

Technology is not only helping mankind in increasing efficiency and productivity but it is also used as a tool by scammers to commit frauds. Deepfake is one such technology where, using artificial intelligence a video is created that mimics the facial expressions, voice, and gestures of an individual. The video created using deepfake gives an impression that it was created or recorded by the individual, but in reality, it's generated using a computer software. Scammers have been using deepfake to trap the victims into vicious schemes, by making them believe that celebrities or renowned business persons are endorsing the scheme. In a recent case, a Canadian woman lost $25,000 in a cryptocurrency scam where deepfake technology was used to create a marketing video with Elon Musk as the key spokesperson in it.


This incident highlights the dangers of online scams, which are becoming more subtle and sophisticated. The woman revealed to CTV Montreal that for a month she was investing in a platform thinking of it as a legitimate and safe site. She explained how she got trapped in the video with a CBS News icon making it look real. "I was on Facebook and a video of Elon Musk came on. He was talking for about five to 10 minutes about a new trading platform, a new trading software he had developed", she said. She adds that the video appeared real due to the reasons stated by Musk, "Why did he build it? No other reason than, so that, that people can change their financial situation and make their dreams come true?"


Without verifying the background, the woman clicked on the link and was later assisted by a broker in soaring up the investments. She said, "I could see profit growing and I was enjoying the process. I just started creating spreadsheets. It's embarrassing now because it's fake". She came to a point where she had invested $25,000 of her savings and things started getting suspicious. She became desperate to take her money out of this deceptive scheme. She tried everything and after contacting the company—like every scammer—they demanded some extra security deposits and other associated costs. This woman knew she had been trapped and was never going to get back her invested money. Still she was ready to pay extra just to get out of this mess.


"I tried desperately to hang on to any hope of goodness and humanity. When I approached these people, they knew that I was not in a good financial place. They knew very personal things about me," she said. "We spoke on a personal basis to, so to reach the end of this process where, you've confided in someone where you've trusted them with, the last of your funds in hopes to be in a better place. It's hard. It's not just a financial hit. It's an emotional hit," she lamented.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) revealed that Canadians have till now lost more than $314 million to investment fraud most of them indulging in crypto schemes. CAFC Planning Communications Outreach Officer Jeff Horncastle commented on the situation, "These platforms look very realistic, very legitimate-looking, but unfortunately, a lot of times months down the line, the victim will realize they have been scammed when the time comes to withdraw the funds."