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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Deepfakes are getting better, in two years they’ll be perfect, and that means you won’t be able to trust anything you see. And that’s a huge issue.

 

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A network of cyber scammers is defrauding people by streaming fake Elon Musk videos on YouTube, and they’re conning thousands of people by using DeepFake technology to trick people into thinking that Musk is really saying the things he seems to be saying in the videos. Namely, that he’s promoting new all too good to be true crypto deals. To do it the criminals are reportedly hijacking popular YouTube accounts and using the videos to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaways, and this month alone tens of thousands of people tuned into these streams over four days as reported by the BBC.

 

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The billionaire seems to be aware of the scams as he called out YouTube in a tweet this week using his favourite weapon of choice — memes.

‘YouTube seems to be nonstop scam ads,’ tweeted Musk on Tuesday.

 

The Future of DeepFakes, by keynote speaker Matthew Griffin

 

The fake streams seem to have been running for months, fooling thousands of people into sending cryptocurrency in the hopes of receiving a prize from Musk. The hackers routinely change the name and picture of these YouTube channels to make them look like official Tesla channels.

The scammers are thought to buy emails and passwords from previous online data breaches and then the streams direct viewers to links inviting them to double their money by sending Bitcoin or Ethereum to the advertised digital-wallet addresses.

 

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‘My followers on other social networks started asking me what is going on with the name of my channel and were very confused about why I was streaming Tesla content,’ Chilean urban-music artist Aisack whose YouTube channel was hijacked told the BBC.

 

 

‘It is very frustrating that your YouTube channel is hacked after dedicating so many years of work to it. I feel completely violated and insecure,’

‘We have strict Community Guidelines prohibiting scams, including Impersonation and hacking,’ YouTube told the BBC.

The vast majority of the fake live streams also show financial firm ARK Invest’s July panel with Musk, and a spokeswoman for ARK told the BBC that it ‘is aware of hacked third-party YouTube channels fraudulently posing as ARK’.

 

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‘These accounts are impersonators and not affiliated with ARK Invest in any way,’ she said. ‘ARK Invest will never use YouTube or other social media to solicit money, including cryptocurrency.’

However, as DeepFakes get better and begin to look and sound more authentic the only thing that’s guaranteed is that in the future there’ll be a lot more of these hoaxes and that a lot more people will get duped by them, which is why it’s more imperative than ever that companies and regulators alike better prepare themselves for what’s next.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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