Police warn people against falling for ‘Deepfake’ scams

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022

Online criminals are using digitally manipulated video clips to trick people into transferring money, police have warned.

Deputy police spokesman Pol Colonel Siriwat Deephor said on Friday that so-called “call centre gangs” have adopted the “Deepfake” technology to convince their potential victims that they are getting a video call from a police officer.

In a recent incident, scammers used a publicly available video clip of a police officer giving an interview and superimposed the lower part of his face to look like the policeman was speaking to a potential victim.

The person who received the call was convinced enough to transfer a large sum of money to the scammer, Siriwat said.

Police warn people against falling for ‘Deepfake’ scams

Deepfake technology uses a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images and videos of fake events. It has caused much controversy over the past few years, with clips of international celebrities and politicians being manipulated to appear in pornographic clips or making comments they never did.

There have been cases in which call-centre scammers, posing as police officers, told their potential victims that their bank accounts were being investigated as part of a criminal case and that they needed to transfer their money to a certain account for examination.

The spokesman said the Royal Thai Police has no policy in which investigators call suspects, defendants or victims asking for money transfers. He said any such call should be treated with suspicion.

People are advised to call 191 or the Royal Thai Police 1599 hotline if they notice suspicious scams.