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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Deepfakes
September 26, 2022


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Deepfakes are synthetic media – images, audio recordings, videos – that make it look like a person has been doing and saying things they haven’t done or said. There have also been known attempts of real-time deepfake attacks.

Deepfakes are created with deep (machine) learning algorithms and generative adversarial networks, and they are becoming more difficult to spot by the day. Case in point: it took over 15 minutes and a set of unexpected questions and statements for the mayor of Berlin to begin to suspect that a scheduled Webex video with someone that looked and sounded like Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko was, in fact, a deepfake-fuelled “attack.”

Deepfake videos of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have previously been leveraged to sow distrust on the Ukrainian side of the ongoing conflict, but deepfakes can be a tool for disseminating disinformation with a wide variety of malicious goals in mind.

There has been a recent increase in complaints about individuals using deepfakes and stolen personal information to apply for a variety of remote jobs and work-at-home positions, some of which include access to customer personal information, financial data, corporate IT databases and/or proprietary information.

These individuals are using the stolen information to try to bypass pre-employment background checks, and voice spoofing – or potentially voice deepfakes – during online interviews.

In these interviews, the actions and lip movement of the person seen interviewed on-camera do not completely coordinate with the audio of the person speaking. At times, actions such as coughing, sneezing, or other auditory actions are not aligned with what is presented visually.

These discrepancies may be easy to notice, but also to dismiss due to the occasional frailty of audio and video communications. Organizations looking particularly for IT professionals, programmers, software developers and database administrators are advised to take extra precautions to ensure they are not ensnared by these and other attackers such as the recent spate of hired North Korean hackers posing as job applicants.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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