Thailand’s police warn, don’t fall for ‘deepfake’ scams

The screenshots show unnatural mouth after using deepfake | Photo via TikTok jmellow0

A Thai deputy police spokesman warned people today that scammers are using so-called ‘deepfake’ technology to pretend to be police on video calls, and pressure people to transfer money to them. The spokesman pointed out that 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.

The spokesman, Siriwat Deephor, demonstrated how scammers use deepfake technology. He said in most cases, scammers merge footage available online of police officers, such as footage from press conferences, with the lower part of their face. This way, it looks on video calls as though it is the police officer talking to the victim.

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

Siriwat added that Thai police don’t have a policy of getting a suspect or a defendant to transfer money for examination. He advised that people call 191 or the Royal Thai Police 1599 hotline to notify them of suspicious calls like this.

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One major instance of a video call scam happened earlier this month. In a clip circling online, a policeman from Chon Buri appeared to be talking, but his strange mouth movements gave away that the video was fake. The clip showed a video call between the ‘police officer’ and a desired victim. However, the victim didn’t fall for the trick, since the mouth movements gave it away.

The real police officer behind the deepfake video said the footage was someone posing as him and the scammer had edited interview footage of him from years ago.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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