In Trending : The Deepfake AI Scam

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Aayush Tiwari –

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video has gone viral after a deepfake video of Bollywood actress Rashmika Mandanna and Kajol went viral, prompting the Indian government to issue a warning about the “dangerous and harmful” effects of Artificially Intelligent (AI) technology.

To make our readers aware, News Space has published several articles on before these events. Here are a few examples in this regards.

The escalating issue of artificial intelligence misuse, particularly the emergence of deepfakes, poses a significant challenge. Deepfakes, encompassing artificially crafted deceptive images, voices, and videos, can ensnare individuals and businesses, resulting in substantial personal, financial, and professional setbacks.

Even the stock market is not immune, as numerous unsuspecting victims, unfamiliar with deepfake technologies, fall prey to scams. Zerodha, a prominent stock market platform, reported an incident on November 22, where a customer narrowly evaded a scam potentially costing Rs 1.80 lakh. The CEO, Nithin Kamath, cautioned about the rising trend of fraudulent attacks fueled by AI-powered apps proficient in generating convincing deepfakes. Unfortunately, not everyone escapes such scams, exemplified by a 2019 incident where a deepfake voice impersonating a CEO led to a $250,000 transfer and a 2020 incident where a bank manager lost $35m due to a convincing deepfake call.

The surge in deepfake scams predates the advent of ChatGPT and the proliferation of generative AI. Presently, accessible advanced AI tools empower individuals, including those with malicious intent, to easily create deepfakes without significant computing power or high-tech skills.

Fraudsters now resort to fake clone apps, generating deceptive videos of trading platforms and bank account statements. These videos, often more authentic than screenshots, contribute to the deceptive nature of the scams.

India Today’s Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Team, during an investigation, uncovered numerous Telegram channels offering fake documents, screenshots, and clone interfaces for popular apps like Zerodha, Grow, and Upstox. These services, priced at several thousand per month, enable users to manipulate profit and loss statements.

For instance, Zerodha Kite Replicate charges Rs 4000 monthly and Rs 20,000 yearly, allowing extensive editing of profit and loss, marketwatch, positions, holdings, fund, and profile sections. Another Telegram channel offers clone interface services for Zerodha Kite and Groww at Rs 3599 per month.

The apparent success of these clone apps is evident in the thriving business, with a Telegram channel for the cloned Zerodha app, boasting over 8,300 subscribers, struggling to manage the influx of customers. Moreover, freely available source codes on public platforms, such as Github, facilitate even novice developers in creating these cloned apps, as revealed in the investigation.

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