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Mumbai: Investor falls for deepfake videos of business honchos

Updated on: 22 June,2024 07:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Doctor loses lakhs after trusting fake Instagram reel featuring top industrialist endorsing trading firm

Mumbai: Investor falls for deepfake videos of business honchos

While scrolling through Instagram reels, the doctor came across a trading firm that advised investment in the stock market. Representation pic

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Mumbai: Investor falls for deepfake videos of business honchos

Cyber crooks are now using deepfake videos of top industrialists to dupe people in cyber frauds. A 54-year-old Ayurvedic doctor has filed a complaint claiming she saw an Instagram reel about stock market trading in which one of India’s top industrialists was praising a trading firm. Based on the industrialist's recommendations, she started investing through the trading app and ended up losing more than Rs 7 lakh before realising that the videos were fake, created by using an AI app that generates deepfake videos.

According to the FIR registered with the Oshiwara police, the doctor claimed that while scrolling through Instagram reels, she came across a trading firm that advised investment in the stock market for substantial returns. She stated that in one of the videos, a man identifying himself as Rajive Sharma was praised by one of India’s top industrialists for providing genuine trading advice, which purportedly helped the industrialist select particular stocks. The industrialist also advised others to join Sharma's firm for trading. “While watching the video, I clicked on the link and was added to a WhatsApp group called 'BCF Investment Academy,' which had several members. A woman named Jenny was giving investment and trading advice, and people were very excited,” the doctor said in her statement.

The complainant further stated that she was later added to another WhatsApp group called ‘BCF Private’, which had only two members. In this group, she received daily advice and videos on trading. “Another person in the group started sharing that he had earned a lot of money with the help of the trading tips given in the group,” her statement reads.

According to the police, the complainant was manipulated into trusting the scammers and was asked to check their company profile. “The cyber crooks created a fake profile on Google, and the victim was further lured after finding that the trading firm appeared to belong to a big company,” an officer said.

Based on the recommendations and the deepfake videos of the industrialist, the woman downloaded their trading app called ‘Escort Securities App’, linked her private bank account, and invested Rs 7.09 lakh. “A few days later, I found that the app showed my total earned amount as R30 lakh, but when I tried to withdraw the amount, the person coordinating on WhatsApp didn't allow it. They asked me to pay Rs 3,43,634 as service charges to withdraw the amount. It was then that I became suspicious and filed a complaint with the police,” the woman revealed further in her statement.

According to the Cyber Police, stock fraud has been on the rise for the past 6-7 months, with hundreds of cases being reported. Accused individuals are using social media to lure people with promises of hefty returns through trading tips. "We have now noticed that the names of industrialists are being used in deepfake videos, and we advise people not to fall prey to these scams," said Datta Nalawade, DCP Cyber, Mumbai police.

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