A new threat has recently emerged on social media platforms, particularly Facebook: deepfake gambling scams. Scammers are now leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create compelling deepfake videos of celebrities, politicians, financial experts, and even your friends and family, all to lure you into fraudulent gambling schemes.

What exactly are Deepfake videos?

What Are Deepfakes And How To Spot Them?

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic videos or audio recordings, generated using AI, that mimic real people. They have been circulating online for years, with one of the first going viral in 2018. However, the technology has now advanced to the point where deep fakes are easy to produce and incredibly convincing.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I was taken aback by a deepfake video of the President of Nepal, Ram Chandra Paudel. In the video, he appeared to be promoting a gambling site. As a tech enthusiast, I quickly realized that the video was fake. However, seeing a president promoting a gambling site could easily deceive any law-abiding individual into falling for the scam. Below is the screenshots:

Another incident involved a Facebook page named ‘Cbi helpline number,’ where an Indian police officer encouraged individuals facing difficulties claiming their KBC Lottery winnings (a scam that has been running for several years) to contact him via WhatsApp for assistance.

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These incidents are widespread on Facebook, and anyone lacking awareness could easily fall victim to such scams.

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How Deepfake Gambling Scams Work

Deepfake technology has become a powerful tool for scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting victims. One prevalent method involves the creation of highly convincing videos, often featuring recognizable figures endorsing dubious gambling platforms or strategies. These videos are so realistic that they can be almost impossible to differentiate from genuine content.

Once created, these deepfake videos are disseminated widely across social media platforms, often through paid advertising or by sharing them within investment and gambling-related groups and pages. The videos usually include a compelling call to action, directing viewers to contact a specific WhatsApp number for exclusive “insider tips” or to join a supposedly secret investment group.

When you reach out to the scammer on WhatsApp, they will employ high-pressure tactics to persuade you to invest in their fraudulent scheme, making promises of unrealistic returns or guaranteed wins. To further build trust, they may even utilize additional deepfake videos or voice messages, making the scam seem even more legitimate.

Red Flags to Watch For:

  • Unrealistic Promises: Be wary of any investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true.
  • Unsolicited Messages: If you receive unsolicited messages promoting gambling opportunities, especially on WhatsApp, do not proceed.
  • Requests for Personal Information: Legitimate financial advisors or investment platforms will never ask for your personal information through social media or messaging apps.
  • Pressure Tactics: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to get you to invest quickly.
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Protecting Yourself from Deepfake Gambling Scams

  • Be Skeptical: Don’t blindly trust videos or messages you see on social media, even if they appear to come from a trusted source.
  • Verify Information: Before investing in any opportunity, do your research and verify the information from reputable sources.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter a suspected deep fake scam, report it to the social media platform and the relevant authorities.

The Bottom Line

Deepfake gambling scams represent a dangerous new frontier in online fraud. By staying vigilant, educating yourself about this emerging threat, and reporting suspicious activity, you can protect yourself and your finances from these AI-powered imposters.