The Dangers of Deepfakes: How to Keep Yourself Safe

March 31, 2024

AI fraud and security

Working in the space of Deepfake Detection, I have had the opportunity to learn about many of the ways in which Deepfake scams are targeting and victimizing individuals around the world. In a new age where it seems you can’t even trust your eyes and ears, what can you trust? Well, we hope that you can trust DeepMedia, and this week, we are going to be examining the current state of Deepfake scams, and how you can stay safe from these malicious strategies that only continue to expand.

Three Key Ways Deepfakes Are Being Used to Target Individuals

  1. Robocall Scams with Deepfake Audio: Scammers are using deepfake audio in robocalls to impersonate trusted figures or authorities, making the calls more convincing and difficult to detect. For instance, deepfake audio technology has been used to mimic voices of government officials, tricking individuals into believing they are speaking with someone from the Social Security Administration and coercing them to provide personal information or make payments to resolve fabricated issues .

  2. Healthcare Fraud and Identity Theft: In the healthcare sector, deepfakes are being employed to commit fraud and identity theft. Fraudsters use deepfake audio to impersonate patients, requesting medications or treatments to file false insurance claims. This not only leads to financial losses for healthcare providers but also compromises patient privacy and care. A notable example is the use of deepfake technology to create synthetic voices for fake patient requests, resulting in fraudulent claims and significant financial losses for healthcare organizations .

  3. Corporate Espionage and Financial Fraud: Businesses are increasingly becoming targets of deepfake scams, where fraudsters create fake videos or audio recordings to manipulate stock prices, steal intellectual property, or deceive employees into divulging confidential information. A survey revealed that one in three businesses has been hit by deepfake scams, highlighting the growing threat to corporate security. In one case, a deepfake video of a CEO was used to spread false information, leading to a temporary drop in the company's stock price .

Strategies to Protect Yourself from Deepfake Scams

  1. Recognize the Signs: Be aware that even familiar voices can be faked. Pay attention to any inconsistencies in the communication, such as unusual requests or discrepancies in the voice or video quality.

  2. Guard Your Information: Never give away sensitive personal information, such as your social security number, bank account details, or passwords, especially over the phone or through unverified channels.

  3. Verify Independently: If you receive a suspicious communication, hang up or disengage and contact the person or organization directly using a known, verified number or email address. Do not use any contact information provided in the suspicious communication.

  4. Use Technology to Fight Technology: Leverage deepfake detectors and trackers to identify and flag potential deepfake content. These tools use advanced algorithms to analyze audio and visual data for signs of manipulation, helping you discern real from fake. Stay updated with the latest deepfake detection technology and consider using it as an added layer of protection against scams.

In conclusion, while deepfake technology presents new challenges in the digital age, being informed and vigilant can help you stay one step ahead of scammers. By understanding the ways in which deepfakes are used to target individuals and adopting strategies to protect yourself, you can navigate this evolving landscape with confidence. Stay safe and stay informed!

by Ryan Ofman, Machine Learning Engineer and Head of Science Communications at Deep Media