Don’t fall for ‘Deepfake’ video calls from scammers: police

FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2022

Thai police are warning people of a new trick adopted by “call-centre” scammers – using digitally manipulated video clips to coerce victims into transferring funds.

Deputy police spokesman Pol Colonel Siriwat Deephor told the press on Friday that these criminals allegedly use the so-called “Deepfake” technology to make their potential victims believe they are getting a video call from an actual police officer.

In most of these cases, publicly available footage of a police officer, for example from a press conference, is digitally merged with the lower part of the caller’s face to look like the policeman is speaking to the victim.

“People can be deceived if they do not look at the image hard enough,” Siriwat said.

“The public should be aware of this so they do not fall victim. Criminals like call-centre gangs often rely on new technology to fool their victims.”

Demonstrating how a Deepfake trick can be pulled off, he said the Royal Thai Police does not have a policy of making video calls to anybody involved in a criminal case, be it the defendant, suspect or complainant.

Also, he said, there is no policy of getting a suspect or a defendant to transfer money for examination. He said any such call should be treated with suspicion.

People are advised to call 191 or the Royal Thai Police 1599 hotline round-the-clock if they notice anything suspicious.