Deepfake dilemma: AI scam rise, posing as kin for data snatch

Image courtesy of Organization for Social Media Safety

Artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes, used for identity theft and impersonating identities of the victim’s relatives are now being used for personal data collection, in a rising trend of scams in Thailand.

Titinun Suttinaraphan, the Regional Marketing Director of Southeast Asia for Gogolook, developer of the Whoscall app, states that the total number of Thai were victims of 217,047 scams per day in 2023. With damages exceeding 53.9 billion baht.

Whoscall, a phone call screening app offers protection against scamming attempts. In a bid to combat fraud, its developers have collaborated with government and private sector entities to launch a campaign to combat fraud.

The national campaign named Save Friends From Fraud aims to prevent fraud amounting to 28 billion baht this year.

The campaign includes providing tech tools to act as a protective shield for the public and distributing over 3 million Whoscall Premium codes through various partner activities. These activities, which will begin this month, have a total worth of over 1 billion baht and will run for half a year.

Titinun disclosed that in the previous year, 63% of text messages received by Thai individuals were either spam or fraudulent messages. This ranks Thailand highest in Asia for receipt of scam SMS messages.

Scams typically involve phishing attempts to direct users to counterfeit websites or applications, particularly those involving financial transactions. These constitute the majority of scams, at 27%. Other prevalent scams include deceiving users into downloading harmful programs or apps (20%) and directing them to fraudulent online shopping pages (8%).

The Whoscall report for 2023 indicated that scams, including incoming calls and text messages, totalled 347.3 million cases globally. Thais received an estimated 20.8 million scam calls and over 58.3 million fraudulent text messages, indicating a significant increase from 2022.

There was a 21% and 17% increase in scam calls and fraudulent text messages, respectively, said Titinun.

“Scammers are increasingly utilising advanced AI deepfake technology to impersonate individuals and collect personal information for malicious purposes. It is crucial for all Thais to unite against this pervasive threat.”

The company further introduced an ID security feature earlier this year, enabling users to verify if their phone numbers have been compromised on the dark web, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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