BBB warns about scammers using ‘deepfakes’

TULSA, Okla. — New technology is making is nearly impossible to tell what’s real, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said scammers are using “deepfakes” to steal money and sensitive information.

A deepfake is when someone uses artificial intelligence to create a video or audio clip that looks and sounds just like the person.

“Technology is so advanced now that it can be really difficult to spot if something is really true or fake,” said Amie Mitchell from the BBB.

Mitchell said scammers use deepfakes to make it look like a celebrity is endorsing a product or acting as if a specific weight loss product can give fantastic results.

She also gave tips on how to tell if a video might be a deepfake.

“We don’t want to believe everything we see online, the first thing we want to look for is the image is blurry,” Mitchell said.

“Or is there part of the image that’s blurry, if something in the left-hand corner, right-hand corner, of the picture is a little fuzzy it probably had a watermark, so you want to distrust those images,” she continued.

“If you’re looking for audio, look for choppy or it stops in certain spots, it’s fuzzy, the language is choppy. Let’s say for example a sentence isn’t fluid, there’s technology now that can piece together your words, make them a sentence and make it sound like you’re selling a product when you’re not at all, they’re just taking individual soundbites and plugging them in and making it seem like you’re saying that sentence,” she concluded.

Besides using celebrities, scammers can also use you. Because of that Mitchell asks that you be careful how much of your life you share on social media.

“Leaving it wide open with no protection is just not an answer anymore...Thankfully social media now has so many different options of how you can lock down your preferences,” Mitchell said.

If someone you know, such as a loved one, calls out of the blue and asks for a request that is out of character, confirm their identity before sending any money.

For BBB tips of cyber security, click here.