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Australians Lost $5.2 Million in 2023 to AI Deepfake Scams: ACCC Official

The Australian authorities issued a warning on Friday, urging the public to be vigilant against misinformation. The National Anti-Scam Centre revealed that 400 individuals reported losses exceeding 8 million Australian dollars (approximately $5.2 million) to online trading platform scams in 2023. Catriona Lowe, deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), explained that scammers employ tactics such as creating fake news articles and deepfake videos featuring celebrities. These deceptive materials are designed to convince people that well-known public figures are profiting significantly from online investment trading platforms, even though it is a scam. In one reported case to the government’s Scamwatch service, an Australian man lost 80,000 Australian dollars (about $52,255) in cryptocurrency after investing in a platform promoted by billionaire Elon Musk in a deepfake video. The individual encountered difficulties withdrawing his funds when attempting to do so, as he was locked out of his account.

“We are urging Australians to take their time and conduct thorough research before considering any investment opportunity, especially those promoted on social media,” stated Lowe. She emphasized that the circulating fake videos and news articles on platforms like social media and video sharing sites often falsely claim that online trading platforms use advanced technologies like artificial intelligence or quantum computing to generate high returns for investors. This assertion is untrue.

In July 2023, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) collaborated to establish the National Anti-Scam Centre’s investment scam fusion cell, aimed at disrupting investment scams. Lowe noted a decline in losses reported to Scamwatch for investment scams since the establishment of the fusion cell.

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