Scammers exploiting deep fake AI, warns SAFPS

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The Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) says scammers are utilising advanced technologies, particularly deep fake AI, to deceive users on dating apps.

This comes after security experts warned that the rise of AI and AI-powered assistants like ChatGPT have allowed scammers to up the ante in their fraudulent activity.

Head of Product Development at SAFPS, Nazia Karrim, says AI technology makes it difficult to track fraudsters.

“The digital platforms like the dating apps seem to be the ideal platform to meet somebody so the fraudsters are also looking like, wow, this is a new sort of potential target that they can use to choose from. They can meet new people here with fictitious ID’s using wonderful technologies like the deep fake technologies to be able to create images and personas that you would find appealing and make it much harder for you to be able to track and trace them.”

“And the scammers are actually using this technology to manipulate your emotions, getting you to meet your ideal person online – based on the profiles that you actually put up,” adds Karrim.

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In 2023, online identity verification company, Sumsub, reported that cases of identity fraud had multiplied ten-fold.

Sumsub said in its third Identity Fraud Report that the top five-types of identity fraud include Artificial Intelligence-powered fraud, money mulling networks, fake IDs, account takeovers and forced verifications.

Closer to home, the report revealed that there has been a surge in deep fake fraud cases in South Africa.

Business Development Manager for Africa at Sumsub, Jarryd Jensen, said that the company had uncovered different types of fraud attacks that are the most common, or popular around the globe.

Jensen said: “We uncovered that the growth of deep fakes being used to try to gain access to financial systems and everything here in South Africa has grown by over 1 200% in the past year. It’s really shocking and this report covers absolutely everything around the world. We cover Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and a whole bunch of other countries in Africa as well and it’s not just here in Africa where it’s happening, it’s become a lot more common on a global scale.”

Deepfake AI | Focus on identifying online scams and fraud: