Cyber Safety

What Are Deepfake and Audio Cloning Scams? 

Deepfake video and audio cloning scams use advanced artificial intelligence technologies to create highly realistic fake videos or audio recordings. These deepfakes can mimic a person’s appearance and voice, making it challenging to distinguish between real and fake content. This technology is increasingly being used by scammers to trick people into believing they are interacting with trusted figures like celebrities, family members, or corporate executives, often leading to financial fraud or data theft. 

How to Protect Yourself from These Scams 

A close-up of a magnifying glass held over a notebook with the word 'VERIFY' written in blue, symbolizing the importance of checking facts and authenticity.

Suspicious Context: Be cautious if the content makes unusual requests, like asking for money or personal information, especially under pressure or with a sense of urgency. Scammers often exploit emotional scenarios to prompt quick actions​ (Tech Monitor)​.

Verify Independently: Always double-check the information through another direct communication channel. If you receive a suspicious call or message, try to contact the person or organization directly using a phone number or email address you know to be genuine​ (Nextcloud)​.

Visual and Audio Cues: Look for inconsistencies in the video or audio you are watching or listening to. Poor quality deepfakes might show signs such as blurry spots, unnatural blinking, double edges, or inconsistent shadows and lighting. Audio clips may contain choppy sentences or strange inflections that don’t match the purported speaker’s usual tone​ (BBB)​​ (Nextcloud)​.

Close-up of a person's hands adjusting sliders and knobs on a modern audio mixing board with colorful illuminated buttons and digital screens in a studio setting.

Technology and Settings: Use security settings available on social platforms and communication tools, such as two-factor authentication and privacy settings, to prevent unauthorized access and data harvesting. Platforms like Nextcloud offer features to enhance security during online interactions, such as consent for recordings and end-to-end encryption​ (Nextcloud)​.

Educate and Inform: Share information about the risks of deepfakes with your community, especially those who may not be as tech-savvy. Awareness is a powerful tool against scams.

Stay Updated: Technology and scam tactics evolve rapidly. Keeping informed about the latest security threats and protective measures can help you stay one step ahead of scammers.

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Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter or fall victim to a scam, reporting it can help prevent further crimes. Use official channels like the Federal Government’s cyber.gov.au and Home Affairs websites.

For further reading and more detailed guidelines on protecting yourself from such scams, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) offers resources and advice through the Scamwatch website, which is an excellent local resource for Australians to learn about protecting themselves from different types of scams, including those involving deepfake technologies.

By staying informed about the capabilities and tactics of scammers using deepfake and audio cloning technologies, you can better protect yourself and your community from these deceptive practices.