Cybersecurity firm Cybertrace has published a warning over a “convincing” deep fake video of Australian mining magnate and businessman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, seen promoting a fake crypto trading platform on social media.
The video emerged on Facebook, urging users to sign up for a fraudulent platform that purports to make “ordinary people” thousands of dollars daily. Potential victims are reportedly taken to a website called “Quantum AI,” which Cybertrace says has become a synonymous name associated with scams and financial fraud.
Cybersecurity firm Cybertrace’s CEO Dan Halpin commented to The Australian that he believes “people will be fooled by this deepfake” as the scammers appeared trained in sales.
“The video is long and in many ways repetitive, which can be quite convincing, and appears to have been created by someone with knowledge of sales and marketing,” he added.
Cybertrace Investigators have identified a #deepfake video of Australian businessman Andrew Forrest. The original video was posted to the @rhodes_trust YouTube Channel. #ScamAlert #scam https://t.co/4uLSD7cXWg@FortescueFuture @FortescueNews
— Cybertrace (@Cybertrace_com) January 31, 2024
The fake video attempts to manipulate Forrest’s behavior and body language from a “fireside chat” conducted by Rhodes Trust in October.
Cybertrace said it detected the deep fake on Facebook on Jan. 27, where an AI-altered version of the billionaire can be seen promoting a fake crypto trading software.
“I want to give you the chance of a lifetime by joining me and my team as a partner in the world’s smartest stock and cryptocurrency trading software that makes money […] regardless of market conditions,” the AI-altered version of Forrest promised.
“It has been making ordinary people just like you $700 to $2,200 in profit a day for 9 months now without any problems and pretty soon [it’ll] be doing the same for you.”
Forrest is a former CEO of Western Australian mining firm Fortescue Metals Group. He is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, boasting a net worth of $29.4 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The scam footage concludes with Forrest urging viewers to sign up to the platform before it’s too late.
Cybertrace warned users to be extra cautious amid a recent spike in deep fake fraud.
Deep fakes have also recently caught the attention of United States lawmakers following the widespread circulation of fake photos of Taylor Swift. U.S. Representative Joe Morelle in particular wants to criminalize the production of deep fake images in the country.
Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart, entrepreneur Dick Smith, and TV host Allison Langdon have also been targeted by scammers creating these deep fake videos, Cybertrace noted.
The trend of impersonating high-profile Australian business people and politicians comes as Australians reported losing more than $2 billion (3.1 billion Australian dollars) to scams in 2022, according to the country’s competition and consumer regulator.
Another $148.3 million (221.3 million Australian dollars) was lost to investment scams where cryptocurrency was used as the payment method in 2022 — a 162.4% increase from 2021.