Scammers can pretend to be anyone they want to be… thanks to technology. All they need to do is take a video of themselves talking, and change their face so that it resembles the person they want to be. Then when their victim sees the video, they will see the scammer as the person they claim to be. Not only is this dangerous, but it revolutionizes the catfishing world due to the current technological advances. When we used to think that anyone who video-chatted with us or streamed a Facebook Live was real, now we have to really take a closer look at the video to make sure it’s of a real person. This is why it is important to know the signs of a deepfake video and how to avoid deepfake scams.
How Does Deepfake Technology Work?
A deepfake program takes the face of the person the scammer wants to mimic and matches it to their face. This allows the face of the person they want to look like to replace the scammer’s face so that they look like that person. This technology relies on artificial neural networks, which are computer systems that focus on patterns in the data.
It feeds hundreds of photos of the person the program is trying to mimic into the neural network so that it can identify and learn their patterns. The program then reconstructs these patterns of facial expressions and configures them into its system.
Why Do Scammers Use Deepfake Technology?
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Scammers use this technology so that they can get away with catfishing their victims. With deepfake technology, a scammer can be anyone they want to be. If they are messaging their victim as someone else, they can pretend to be that person in a video or on a video chat without the victim ever knowing. They can also pretend to be a celebrity on a fake live video to convince that celebrity’s fans to participate in a giveaway.
The more victims that believe in their schemes, the more money they get. To make victims believe that they are who they say they are, they use deepfake technology to make their schemes seem more real. This is frightening to think about since they can mimic anyone’s face they want. They can even pretend to be government officials, politicians, medical officials, etc. just to make you believe in their scams. However, while this might seem scary, there are some ways to tell whether or not a video is fake.
Signs That The Video is a Deepfake
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- Their face seems off like it’s been digitally altered to the body.
- Their face and neck won’t blend in normally.
- Their voice seems off and doesn’t sound like it would belong to that person.
- Their face is slightly grainy and not the rest of the video.
How to Avoid Deepfake Scams
- If the video seems even slightly off, don’t trust that it’s real.
- If there is a giveaway contest being announced by a celebrity through a video, chances are it’s a deepfake video.
- If the person that you are talking to online asked you for money but video chats you and sends you videos, they are still most likely a scammer.
- Don’t trust any video that asks for your personal or financial information.
- Don’t trust any video that asks you to send them money, gift cards, or other items of value.
- If the information seems off in a video you are watching, do additional research before trusting it.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Deepfake Scams!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about deepfake scams. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.