Deepfake Technology: Who are you actually speaking with?

Rafael Broshi

CEO and Co-Founder of Notch


What would you say if I told you that five years from now, you wouldn’t be able to trust anyone online before first verifying who you’re talking to? If you don’t believe me - watch this video :

What is Deepfake Technology and How to Protect Yourself

Deepfake is becoming so real that scammers are starting to use the technology to commit fraud.

Deepfake is a term used to describe a type of media in which a person's face or other visual elements are replaced or manipulated using AI. The term "deepfake" comes from the combination of "deep learning" and "fake," and it refers to the use of deep neural networks to create realistic but fake videos or images. 

Even though deepfake is still fairly limited, technological advancements in the field are rapid.  According to Gartner, in 2023, 20% of successful account takeover attacks will use deepfake as part of social engineering attacks.

How to spot and avoid deepfake scams 

Types os social media scams using Deepfake technology
New types of scams: Deepfake technology and its main uses

In 2022, we've seen an increasing use of deepfake technology in various scenarios. The 3 main use cases for which deepfake was used include:

Selfie identification 

The use of selfies for identification is rising, especially with online account opening. However, this area is vulnerable to deepfake photos, with cybercriminals posing as someone else to open accounts for money laundering or even access current accounts. 

Voice authentication 

Voice authentication is one way to use biometrics for multifactor authentication. While this can be a very effective way to authenticate a customer, with deepfakes, audio can be altered to sound like a customer’s voice.

Social media videos 

For some companies with high-visibility CEOs or other executives, there may be deepfake danger through social media. Suppose a cybercriminal wanted to create chaos and damage a financial institution’s reputation. In that case, it could post a video with an executive making a fake announcement about branches closing or mismanagement of funds. 

Deepfake used to target businesses owner

Where can it catch you as a small business owner using social media to run your business?

They could target one of your team members.  It might be easy to find out who your social media manager is.  If that happens, you could receive a ‘voice message’ from the scammer impersonating to be your social media manager.

Another way could be to impersonate one of your suppliers. Let’s say you run an eCommerce business, and suddenly you get a call from one of your suppliers saying that they are sending over a new invoice with different bank details (AKA invoice fraud).

As it can be used in various ways to scam victims, it's crucial for us to know how to spot and avoid scams using selfies, voice authentication, and social media.

How to keep yourself and your business safe?

Here are the top strategies for protecting yourself and your business from deepfake-based social engineering attacks.

Being slightly paranoid is key.  

Here are a few simple rules that would protect you in almost every situation:

  1. Beware of urgent requests - almost all scams start with urgent requests. “I need you to send me this code now”. “Your account will get suspended if you don’t do this now”. “Fill out this form now”.
  2. Ask for a live call.  Don’t settle for recorded messages if a person asks for sensitive information (for example, your login details) or requests to transfer money.
  3. If you are on a live video call with someone and things don’t add up - ask the person to move their head from side to side.  Even though faces could be mimicked pretty well with deepfake, the sides of the face are much harder to fake.
  4. Ask a personal question that only a real person could answer.  It could be something as simple as ‘when was the last time we talked’.

The advancements in deepfake technology present a significant risk for individuals and businesses. As scammers are starting to use this technology to commit fraud, we must be aware of the dangers and take the necessary steps to protect ourselves. In the future, it may become increasingly difficult to trust anyone online and we must stay vigilant and be aware of the potential threats that deepfake technology poses. Stay safe out there!

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