AI deepfake Technology Enables WhatsApp Scammer to Swipe Rs 40,000 from Kerala Man

AI Deepfake technology has emerged as a lucrative tool for contemporary online scammers. To those unfamiliar, AI Deepfake allows individuals to assume different identities, although it remains unable to completely alter vocal nuances and behaviors.

Nevertheless, progress in deepfake technology has advanced significantly since that time, primarily due to AI. Presently, distinguishing between authentic and deepfaked videos has become exceedingly challenging. Exploiting this technology, scammers now adeptly impersonate family members or acquaintances to defraud unsuspecting victims of their money. In a recent instance, a man in Kerala fell victim to such a scam, resulting in a loss of Rs 40,000. The following outlines the unfolding of this incident.

How an AI-Driven Deepfake WhatsApp Video Call Exploited a Kerala Resident

The Kerala Police has shared a comprehensive account of the recent scam involving an AI-generated deepfake WhatsApp video call on their official social media platforms. The target of this scheme, Radhakrishnan, residing in Kozhikode, received an unexpected WhatsApp call from an unfamiliar number. Without much suspicion, Radhakrishnan answered the call, only to be confronted with an individual who bore a striking resemblance to a former colleague hailing from Andhra Pradesh.

The caller strategically dropped the names of several mutual acquaintances, effectively cultivating a sense of trust with Radhakrishnan. Under the assumption that the caller was genuinely his past coworker, Radhakrishnan continued the conversation. Following some initial casual banter, the caller got to the crux of the matter.

The scam artist conveyed that he was presently situated in Dubai, where a family member was undergoing medical treatment in a hospital. In a bid to appear convincing, the caller beseeched Radhakrishnan for a sum of Rs 40,000, assuring swift repayment upon his return to India. Without harboring doubt, Radhakrishnan complied, transferring the requested amount to support his purported friend.

Nonetheless, Radhakrishnan’s suspicion was aroused when the caller solicited an additional Rs 35,000. This prompted him to reconnect with his colleague through their original contact information, only to learn that his colleague had never reached out for financial aid. Realizing he had fallen prey to a deception, Radhakrishnan promptly reported the incident to the Kerala Police.

According to the police, this is a first-of-its-kind AI deepfake video call scam reported in Kerala and has requested citizens to be vigilant. Following the complaint, the Kerala Police launched an investigation into the matter. They tracked the Rs 40,000 transaction to a small private bank in Maharashtra, which the bank authorities have since frozen.

How to Safeguard Yourself from AI-Driven Deepfake Video Call Scams:

Perpetrators exploit images shared on social media platforms to fabricate deepfake videos, often gathering additional information about family and acquaintances from social media tags and profiles. The Kerala Police emphasizes vigilance and encourages citizens to promptly report any questionable calls to the helpline number 1930 for swift intervention. Employ the following precautions to enhance your safety:

Exercise Caution: Decline calls from unfamiliar individuals and unknown numbers.

Verify Identity: When dealing with a seemingly familiar caller, pose personal questions that only you and they would know to validate their identity.

Double-Check Requests: If confronted with an unusual appeal, such as a money transfer or divulging credit card details, always cross-verify with the individual using their original contact information.

Spot Red Flags: Watch for signs like changes in voice modulation, glitchy video feeds, etc. Should you suspect a fake video, terminate the call immediately.

Protect Personal Info: Terminate any call that solicits sensitive details the caller shouldn’t possess.Navigating deepfake calls can be intricate, and even individuals unfamiliar with the technology, like Radhakrishnan, can fall victim. However, adhering to the above recommendations empowers you and your dear ones to thwart such fraudulent attempts. Ultimately, it’s advisable to ignore calls originating from unfamiliar or suspicious numbers.

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