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Fraud & Security Tips

Deepfakes: Unmasking the Digital Illusion

    • weeks-jeff-800.jpg
    • Jeff Weeks

      Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer
      Apr 11 2024

Deepfakes: Unmasking the Digital Illusion

Author: Jeff Weeks, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer

What Are Deepfakes?

Deepfakes are incredibly realistic videos or images that are skillfully crafted using artificial intelligence (AI) methods. These digital illusions seamlessly replace one person’s face with another, making it appear as if the target person is saying or doing something they never did.

While initially used for entertainment and creative purposes, deepfakes have become a potent tool for scammers and malicious actors.

How Scammers Exploit Deepfakes

Impersonation: Scammers create deepfake videos of influential figures, celebrities, or even your friends and family. They then use the videos impersonating people to spread misinformation or commit fraud.

Financial Fraud: Deepfakes can be used to manipulate stock prices, create fake investment advice videos, or impersonate CEOs to deceive investors.

Extortion: Scammers threaten to release compromising deepfake videos unless victims pay a ransom.

Manipulation: Deepfakes can sway public opinion by creating fake videos of famous people making controversial statements.

How to Spot and Avoid Deepfakes

Be Skeptical: Always question the authenticity of videos or images. If something seems too sensational or out of character, investigate further.

Analyze Audio and Visual Clues:

  • Lip Sync: Observe if the lip movements match the audio.
  • Blinking Patterns: Deepfakes often struggle with realistic blinking.
  • Lighting and Shadows: Check for inconsistencies.
  • Background Noise: Listen for unnatural audio artifacts.

Verify Sources: Don’t trust a single video or image. Use reliable sources to crosscheck the validity of a video or image before accepting it as true.

Use AI Tools: Some tools can detect deepfakes. Consider using them to verify content.

Secure Your Accounts: Enable two-factor authentication wherever available to prevent unauthorized access to your personal accounts. Be cautious and limit sharing of personal information online.

Report Suspected Deepfakes

  • Flag content on social media platforms.
  • Contact platform moderators or support.
  • Use trusted reporting channels, including law enforcement and fact-checking organizations.
  • Awareness is important. Share information about deepfakes and their risks with your family and friends.

Remember that reporting deepfakes helps protect the online community and contributes to a safer digital environment. Stay vigilant and spread awareness!

Learn more in our Customer Security and Fraud Prevention Center.

About the Author
Jeff has been with First National Bank of Omaha for more than 25 years and is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer. The executive leadership and oversight provided by Jeff in the development, management, and execution of information security for FNBO enables the company’s ability to posture and protect private, personal information, and assets of the company’s clients, employees, and business partners.

The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.